Having had 11 solo and many joint exhibitions in London over the past 20 years, I have developed a good reputation as an artist and a keen eye for understanding my clients’ needs. I have displayed one of my sculptures in the foyer of the V&A and before that I was an animator and won many awards for my work, culminating in 2 golds at the New York Film Festival.
I am passionate about my work and when I am preparing for an exhibition I have a trance like obsession about my subject and can work for days on end with little care for sleep or rest, I am in my element. To get back into the real world, I teach and some of my pupils have been extremely successful having repeatedly achieved the best results in the country. My passion and love for the creative image is generously passed onto many generations of students. It’s difficult finding the balance of my own work and working for others and so like a pendulum my life falls into different creative directions. At the moment I am on the cusp of leaping back into my own creative world, as I am giving up teaching in schools, allowing myself to commit to my own indulgences.
I am fascinated by nature and am now enamoured by the beauty of plant life. I start a painting with stark realism and thorough observational research, sometimes I have the plant in front of me and other times I use my own photography as my starting point. Some of the images are close-ups that are enlarged tenfold until they become an abstract image of natural form through unusual compositions. I try to create a lyrical beauty within these paintings, a luminosity enhanced by colour. I create an outer image of inward things. Enlarged to five foot images and then to the other extreme; the tiniest of paintings. So for the viewer the image therefore becomes distorted, they would have an experience of nature in detail, colour, pattern and form. I always challenge myself to continue to develop new concepts, experiment with new formats. Colour and composition is the key to my work and I however much I learn through my practice they is so much more to discover.
To prepare for an exhibition it takes sometimes more than a year and so I therefore create another world for myself by also concentrating on three dimensional form. I am at my best when I have the two parallel creative adventures running together as they counter act each other, the beautiful world of reality and the limitless abstract form.
I also create vibrant coloured papier mache sculptures using beautiful manmade objects discarded by our society. The sculptures are made using the Mexican papier mache techniques, I have been taught by the Leonaris family. I am interested in creating an interpretation of the natural world juxtaposing and metamorphosing with the manmade objects. Celebrating its beauty, the texture, form and meeting points of different angles that curve in various harmonies of light, shadow and luminous rich colours.
With regard my studio space I have a large room in my house at the moment. I am not interested in natural light as it changes all the time so I remove all natural light and have very strong light as I need it to be consistent as colour changes as light reflects of it. I also work with interference colours and my actual light source is very important to me.
July I have decided I shall stop teaching in schools. I shall then look for a new studio space, large room with basin and the windows will be blocked by curtains or blinds. So if you hear of a space let me know.
I am also passionate about music and listen all the time to classical music when I work, or if I feel too isolated from the world I listen to radio 4. At times being an artist I can become too lost in my creativity and forget there is a world out there. That is why I have taught in schools etc to keep me grounded in the real world. But now I do not care and all I want to do is create.
Selling my work makes me happy as I am not interested in keeping my work. My work is like a past thought a creative moment that passes. I have already moved on to my next creative moment and totally absorbed into that.
The future for the artist is a hard and interesting question:
Having taught so many interesting young people to be in the creative world, I love seeing what they do how they go on developing. I am very excited for them. One of my students is on the team for designing clothes for Lady Gaga. I have many who are in the creative world.
Gillian Wearing worked for me when I had my animation studio for 3 to 4 years when she was very young and she has now won the Turner prize I am so happy for her. Daniel Greaves who also worked for me in my studio got an Oscar for animation.
The awards though mean little to me I won many gold’s and prizes at many festivals when I was an animator but I was on the next exciting production and was annoyed that I had to travel to get the award, however much they wine and dine us. On the other hand without these awards we would not get work so I do also have a practical and business approach to my work.
My wish is to create forever and not to be disrupted by the day to day life. I live for my passions the creative world and get frustrated by the daily toil of travelling in London, it is time wasting. Paper work or should I say computer work with its endless requests of irrelevant questions should be removed from the world. This is what frustrates me when I teach the endless irrelevant paper work that takes up so much time that is nothing to do with teaching the child. The obsession of having to prove that you are a brilliant teacher and not the final outcome. I am a good teacher where my pupils always gain high marks A*’s and I have taught children who got the best results in the country several times. So now I leave that mad world where they do not give enough time to teach the child properly. Sorry you got me started! I am beginning to hate the schools now as they are removing more and more the arts from the curriculum and demand that the children learn English, Maths and Science more and more. So I am very worried we will only have art for the elitists, those who could afford private lessons. So I am out of that rat race, as proper rounded education is no longer the priority by the government and the schools.