I am an artist based in Chichester, West Sussex, on the South coast of England. I like to work in a variety of media, often using materials that I find on my daily walks around the coast. These materials might be wood (usually painted but distressed by the action of the waves); metal (either wire for weaving or rusty pieces for dyeing); plastics; paper; fabric; fishing line; or other interesting items that just catch my eye. I always carry a couple of bags with me – one for “goodies” and the other for the rubbish that I inevitably find along the way … but more about that later.
I came to Art in a circuitous route: I grew up in rural Staffordshire but the family moved South immediately after my ‘O’ levels. After careers in banking, insurance and estate agency, and after the birth of our daughter, I decided on a change of direction and enrolled for a two year C & G course in Interior Design. At the end of the course, having gained a Distinction, and having passed my Cert Ed, I started teaching Interior Design initially in Further Education and then privately.
Later, various courses in art, textiles and printing led me to enrol for a two year stint at the beautiful West Dean College taking a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. I am so lucky to live close to this very special place and still attend regularly. Inspirational tutors there include Cas Holmes, Susie Hunt, Matthew Harris, Pauline Burbidge, Jo Budd, Jilly Morris and Susan Hufton. I am a member of the Embroiderers’ Guild despite the fact I still feel that I cannot sew – rather I am someone who loves the texture and layering that can be achieved with fabric and the fact that stitch can enhance work in a way that is hard to achieve with works on paper.
As we have a dog, I often walk along the Coast and I always carry a camera to record items which interest me. This might be the wildlife, the trees or plants around me, or a specific object which I see. I am no photographer – I have a small camera which fits into my pocket and I use the “Auto” setting as I do not understand the technicalities of F stops and the like. Despite this, I manage to collect images that I like in their own right as well as for artistic inspiration.
Family and friends tell me that I have an “eye”, and it is certainly true that I spot things that they use don’t see. My grandparents were true country folk and they taught me to look: one of my favourite quotes remains:
“You see, but you do not observe.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal in Bohemia
Beautiful reflections near my home