Briefly describe the work you do.
I make work to try to understand the relationships between people and the invisible constraints that confine them. This may take the form of painting, drawing or sculpture
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
My background was in nursing – which introduced me to psychology and philosophy – both of which have become intellectual driving forces.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
In my practice I am always working. When I am not physically in my studio working, I am observing and thinking. The nature of my work as a line of enquiry into human relationships and the constraints that inform them means that every day interactions in turn inform my practice. I often find my best thinking time is when I am engaged in other activities. It is often in these instances that I gain an insight into my work that sends me straight to my studio to make work. In that sense my studio has no boundaries!
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Probably the biggest surprise was to find myself teaching. I teach in my local community.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
The best time for me to make art is when it consumes me and occupies my every thought – it is at these times that I have to get it out of the ether and realized as a piece of work. I am unable to function in my other roles if I have a piece of work in my mind! I find that this process cannot be forced. Setting a 9 – 5 regime kills my creativity. If I need to work into the small hours of the night then that is what I do. This is much easier now that my family has grown up.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
The last five years for me have been to recover from my art school education. I am rediscovering and reclaiming practices, which I was put off during my BA. I guess I have really taken ownership of what I do and don’t tend to feel pressured into trying to make a masterpiece every time. Some things work and some things do not. I have put a big sign in my studio saying “permission to play!” I still have the same theme runs through every piece I make and I am learning to embrace that.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
Every thing has an impact on what I do. I am kind of interested in the concept that ideas are viral – when a seed of an idea is planted in your mind it can take root and inform your choices from that moment on. Some are good some are not so good. You cannot un – know things or un – experience them so every thing has an impact especially World events. I think sometimes it is easy to become blasé about the horrific events in the world as reports saturate every aspect of our lives. Social media contributes to this.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
I am currently training as a counselor – I am hoping to integrate my art practice to work within art therapy. I am aiming to continue making art at the same time. I also love to sing, walk the dogs and learn new things.
I was born in Taunton in 1968. Before having my family I trained and worked as a nurse, which ignited my interest in psychology. In 2004 I made the decision to pursue my life long passion for art, which has now changed from an interest to a way of life. I am in the process of adjusting to life after art school, and making new work.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.