I studied at Manchester College of Art and Design from 1964 – 1968. My degree was in Textiles – surface decoration. On leaving college I became a teacher and taught Art to 11 -18 year olds until 2002 when I left to concentrate on my own work. I became a member of the RCA in 2004.
My work is concerned with both the built environment and the natural world. I find myself drawn to the crumbling surfaces of ancient buildings, their underlying geometry, their decorative detail – and to our human need to preserve and conserve, collect and archive every fragment of them. Not only architecture holds a fascination, but also landscape. Despite references to particular places, I never seek to produce a photographic representation; my work is a collection of glimpses, little clues, bits of evidence which when brought together may evoke in the viewer some recognition or memory of a similar place, experience, occasion. There is always the game of synchronizing the ideas in my head with the images on the paper – leaving the viewer with enough information to understand the piece but allowing leeway to bring their own memories and responses to bear.
The process of collage appeals to me as it allows me to think, build, demolish, re-think in concrete terms. I like to keep an open mind, allowing the piece to grow and change; being prepared to be surprised by it. The collaged surface is the beginning. Layers of colour and detail follow. Drawing is fundamental to many pieces and essential as a process in itself.