I grew up in an industrial town in the North East of England. We holidayed in the surrounding North York Moors and Dales, The Lake District and Northumberland.
A love and appreciation of vast open spaces grew in me with a passion and in some ways as an escape from the toxic chimneys and violet evening skies of the Redcar blast furnace. After art school in Cardiff and Berlin I lived in Palestine for 7 years, alternating between my studio in Pembrokeshire and my residency at The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. I roamed the Judean Wilderness, the stratified rocks of the West Bank, the holy shrines and the people. I worked for the British Council teaching painting to Palestinians.
Back in Pembrokeshire periodically I loved the peaceful contrast to the tensions of Jerusalem, Jordan and Syria. I recognised a deep connection between the two places; both sites of spiritual pilgrimage and great natural beauty, one free, one under occupation. My work developed to express a feeling of uncertainty amidst the vitality of a unique place.
My current paintings have a dynamic movement, close to music/dance. My colours are seasonal, based on what I see through my studio window, the light, walking the coast path, rowing and kayaking.
The landscape is predominantly air and water, sky and sea. The eye moves in one direction and on one level, whilst something else dramatically distracts, in the wind; counter actions taking place. Things fit which shouldn’t fit rationally but work through drawing and the arrangement of space and colour. Each painting is the sum of its’ parts and no more except how they each relate to the other. I find forms through looking closely at what is around me, through trial and error and accident. I explore the tension between their geometric and organic qualities. The fluidity of the watery medium of the paint mimics water flowing through sand to make fractal patterns. This is just one example of how painting from nature is evocative of emotion and life force; it is just pure joy, the joy of being alive, here in Pembrokeshire.
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