My work comes from a love of the process of drawing. The attempt to notice, capture, understand and describe what I see. The drawing out of the particular aspect that grabbed my attention. I see beautiful drawings all around me.... the tangles of wires at the top of telegraph poles, the power lines dancing along the roadside, the shadows of branches on the side of a house cast by the street light, the cracks in the paving stones, the sticks and root balls washed up on the beach, the lines in pebbles that are 200 million years old, the lines made by people walking across a field for hundreds of years, the line of ink coursing down the page. The best lines are already there and I want to have them, to get them onto paper, away from everything else around them, so that you can see them too.
This period of drawing started one night, during the Force 8 art takeover of the old chapel down at West Bay (now the Discovery Centre). I took the opportunity to do an all night drawing, to immerse myself in the act of drawing, in the chapel, all night, on my own. A simple act of mark making drawn out over 12 hours and over the full length of the chapel. I loved the performance of covering the paper, thinking about the human agency and the power of drawing, the innateness of mark making, the reaching out to communicate, to describe, to plan, to imagine, to explore, to understand, and to play.
I originally trained in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art at Oxford University; I chose this course as they taught traditional drawing skills alongside a contemporary art focus. For several years I specialised in performance art and drawing installations which explored my relationship with the world. I was part of the lively alternative art scene in East London in the late nineties.
After a while I wanted to shift my focus and work with people, helping them to improve their relationship with the world. I worked as a mental health worker in primary care and later on as an Occupational Therapist so that I could work with people in their actual real life worlds.
Following the pause that comes from moving town and having a baby, I rediscovered my interest in drawing and art. This coincided with my child’s first explorations of mark making. I was so intrigued and excited to watch him make discoveries with paint and with his body that I started a messy art group for him and his friends (www.oopswow.co.uk)
Informed by both my background in art and in occupational therapy I have been exploring the process and the performance of drawing with young children, creating opportunities for them to use their whole bodies and their abundant energy to explore a wide range of materials and processes. I have a growing passion for the importance of big, messy, free, exploratory, playful, process based art making for children’s physical, social, and emotional development, for their problem solving, creative and critical thinking skills. I now also work with schools and preschools, teenagers, and adults.... everyone needs to play!