The idea of conformity was never one of my strongest values as a teenager. It’s fair to say this is a theme that has always lurked in my personality, bursting out every now and again, especially in those adolescent years.
Getting ready to leave school, the pressure was on to find a vocation. In my last year I decided it was time to ‘toe the line’ and concentrate on my exams, however it was too late. In a desperate attempt to get me to read something – anything, my parents lent me a copy of a Readers Digest (bless them).
In it was an extract from a book called One Child by an Educational Psychologist named Torey Hayden. Something in the content of the book captured me; I had found what I wanted to do – work with kids!
At the age of 20, following a number of years returning to evening classes and working in a number of jobs, I was successful in getting a job as an Assistant Social Worker. In 1997 I qualified as a fully-fledged social worker and I enjoyed a career spanning over twenty years working with children and families. My specialism initially was working with young mums. This led me into working with foster carers. I loved it.
At the same time my personal life blossomed. I married my best friend and inherited an amazing stepson. We went on to have two daughters who are growing into incredible young women.
Life stages are inevitable; what you do with them is your destiny. For me, my social work career came to a natural end. I wanted to recapture the non-conformist side of myself. Art therefore has become my WHY.
The sea, mountains and decay are the things that most influence me. Through structure and texture the viewer is invited to interpret their own perception of my work. I try to create a sense of freedom and rebellion. Back to those teenage days. Sort of.
Each piece of work is named after the music I listen to while painting and creating. Some people might think the music I listen to is reflected in the art I produce…