I am a contemporary artist, pattern designer, lover of art, nature and beautiful interiors, and I love working in a wide range of media. My BA and MA were in fine art, my specialism painting, but in my thirst to be creative and expand my practice, I undertook a postgraduate course in Surface Pattern and Textiles in 2013, and manufactured a small run of wallpapers, closely followed by fabrics and handmade lampshades.
My paintings are mostly abstract, and embrace a wide range of approaches, from drawing, mixed media, painting, stitch and collage.
The paintings embrace the rich and dramatic landscapes and seascapes of the north of England, concerning mainly ideas of memory and recall, but also natural history and ecology, politics and environmental issues.
When I am creating, and then reflecting on my work, I like to think about ideas of exposure and sanctuary, a sense of place, fleeting memories and illusion. I like to find space when I travel, away from people, and I look for special corners of the UK and the world to explore and remember. Although I take many photographs of the places I visit, I never work directly from a photograph, preferring instead to consider the residual memory of a place, the sense of space, atmosphere, light, texture and shape that lingers after one has left. I am looking at ways to almost patch together a recollection of a place, not merely to recreate a perfect representation, more a feeling or a fleeting recall.
I am currently very interested in the idea of recalling ‘authenticity’ through memory in a digital age, where we edit, select and construct an ‘ideal’ image through social media. The idea that this might create a ‘false’ or ‘constructed’ memory, rather than the experiential sensation of actually being ‘there’. Can this visual exploration lead to any connections with recall, dementia and temporary memory loss?
I love oils and thinly applied watercolours over textured grounds, such as plaster and gesso, using a combination of thin washes, fine line and expressive paint application methods. I explore working with varying scale pieces - some tiny canvases only 15cm square to a large scale 4-foot abstract canvas.
Drawing in particular, has been at the core of my practice as a visual artist for many years, and it got me thinking about different ways to bring my art into your home, onto your walls, upholstery, through lighting, and furnishings. So I started to look at the relationship between art and design, and to find creative ways to bring them together.
All of my pattern designs start life with the mark of a pencil, a line from an ink pen, or a stroke of a paintbrush, and take inspiration from the natural world. I love the fact that it takes a lot time to create the artwork, that I’m a stickler for quality, accuracy and craftsmanship. I love the fact that when you own one of my products, you have a unique, hand-crafted design that you can’t get on the high street. It’s about combining natural beauty and cutting edge style, being classic, elegant and timeless.
I have a small collection of three wallpaper designs, which are made in the UK, and my fabrics are printed locally in the north of England. At the moment, as the cushions and lampshades are hand-made, and are only available in small quantities.
Heart Home Magazine selected me as one of their 'New Designers' to show my designs on their stand at Home London in January 2014 at Earl's Court. In April 2014 I was lucky enough to be invited by UK Trade & Industry to attend a Lifestyle & Heritage reception at the British Ambassadors Residence in central Paris. Sixteen creative enterprises from Yorkshire attended the reception and we met a host of buyers from Parisian stores. I spent an intense, but exciting 5 days at a brand new interiors show in Provence, France the flowing summer. Discovering Designers was organised by TrendlineEurope, and hosted in Aix-en-Provence to co-incide with the huge Cote-Sud interiors show.
Now I'm back in my studio, thinking, painting and drawing. You can see my paintings on permanent display (and for sale) in the Hope Gallery, Red Brick Mill in Batley, West Yorkshire, and soon at the Fenwick Gallery, Warkworth, Northumberland.