Making art is a form of therapy for me. Whether that be applying paint to canvas, creating digital work, or most recently with my Grow An Exhibition project, making sculptural work from plants I’d grown from seed. The physical act of doing something creative distracting me from crippling anxiety or using it to express feelings, getting them out of my head. This has helped me to overcome 30 years of M.E. and 20 years of agoraphobia. In addition, the exhibiting of my work pushes me that little bit further each time. From hosting solo exhibitions at my studios for the public to see, to open competitions which drives me to get to previews and conquer my fear of travelling. Step by step it increases my confidence and resilience to the panics.
The medium and style of my work has developed as circumstances change and opportunities open up. Architectural perspective paintings, that always had a path through them, were painted in my bedroom. Then, getting a studio at, and exhibiting with Art Space Portsmouth, resulted in feelings of vulnerability and loneliness. I hid these personal thoughts in large canvas paintings in a technique I call ‘predetermined randomness’. An AA2A university residency saw me move to computer generated work with my ‘Emerging Thoughts’ series. As my confidence has grown the messages/thoughts became more visible, though you still have to hunt for them.
My last body of work, ‘Natural Imperfections’ saw my desire for perfection in my work fight with the unpredictability of Mother Nature, meaning I had to let some of that control go and go with the natural flow. My Grow An Exhibition project, supported by the Arts Council, saw me grow and harvest plants, turning the processed materials into paper artworks, bowls and a ‘book’. The centrepiece being a five metre long plank sculpture using the delicate flax stems. The project came about after I’d reached a crossroads in my life. Starting to travel short distances in cars this opened up all sorts of possibilities. I decided to combine my love of gardening and nature with my art.
My practice is all about pushing myself with my art. Finding and taking opportunities and making the most of them. Exposing myself to new life experiences. Going on journeys with no known destinations. My world is getting bigger day by day.