Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Chester le Street, County Durham
How does your life impact your creativity?
I suppose the pleasure and pain of being a parent has been a springboard to my work. Observing my own children growing made me reflect on the situations and emotions experienced in childhood that many of us can identify with.
When did you know that you wanted to make a living as an artist?
When my degree show was well received it gave me the confidence to consider that a career as an artist could be possible, having always been creatively driven it seems like a dream come true.
Describe your path to what you’re doing now.
My role as a parent made me consider the transience of childhood, and appreciate how precious our memories can be, I became very interested in objects in childhood that nudge us into our memory archives. Objects associated with childhood communicate a longing to hold on to the past and can provide a nostalgic comfort. My current work focuses on the experiences of school, the notion of continual growth and measurement, not only physically but mentally, academically, and against siblings and peers.
What helps your creative process and how do you get into the zone?
My morning walk with my dogs helps me reflect on my creative practice, providing me with a peaceful time to consider any new ideas and plan the day ahead. A big mug of tea and the radio in the background is the perfect way to get the day started.
What’s your media of choice?
I love the flexibility of oil paint, I like being able to blend the paint on the surface of the work. As someone who works quite slowly its slow drying time gives me lots of time to reflect.
Your paintings explore the theme of childhood and school life. What is your happiest memory of school?
I have to confess that I didn’t really enjoy the conformity of secondary school that much though I have very fond memories of primary school, those days before becoming a self-conscious teenager kicked in. I fondly remember running around at playtime with my friends pretending to be one of ‘Charlie’s Angels’.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not creating?
Being an artist can feel quite isolating at times so I love to meet up with friends for coffee and cake when I get the chance or visit galleries and talk art with my creative buddies.
What makes you laugh?
My dogs, Ken and Wayne, Ken can actually smile which is the loveliest way to be greeted, it always makes me laugh and is a fab way to start the day.
Are you creatively satisfied?
I’m not sure I will ever be creatively satisfied as there is always another idea to explore.
What’s your philosophy in life?
My philosophy in life would be to never stop learning and to always have an open mind.
What plans do you have for the future in terms of your creative work?
It’s been a while since I worked large scale so I’m really excited about getting started on larger pieces.