Theater, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Crafts, Film & Video, Digital Arts, Literary Arts, Culinary Arts, Design
About Me And My Work
About me: My mother would say I am a late developer, a person that takes a bit more time to understand themselves and be secure in their self confidence and I would agree. If this is true then it would be living in Wales that helped me to grow and learn about myself.
Three years study in Cardiff School of Art and Design helped me to develop my art and to become true to myself. I learned to be in the Zeitgeist, to celebrate the moment, to take the idiosyncrasies of experiences, circumstance and situations and explore them through painting.
I have grown up in Wales. I have had difficult experiences and overwhelming awakenings. I am very proud that my child is Welsh through and through and she has the Red Dragon winning battles and giving her the driving force of life in her. The Dragon that has taken me under its wing and protects and nurtures my soul. Since graduating in 2002 I have made my mark here in Cardiff. My early commissions can be seen as murals in ‘Spice Root’ in Atlantic Wharf, the ‘Iota’ of Mill lane and ‘Puccine’ on Albany Road.
Nowadays I work full-time. I have exhibited at BBC Wales, Pebble way, The Kooywood Art Gallery and The Milkwood Gallery, 41 Locaber Street. The amazing ladies of The Milkwood Gallery created the first Made-In-Roath this year and they invited me to join in, so I opened my home to the public and showed them my artwork. It was a wonderful idea that the whole of Roath embraced.
The work I showed was abstract work inspired by Roath Park and dimensions as a response to the idea of the Golden Ratio: natures magic irrational fraction number which the Greek called Phi. To me it means infinity and the endless possibilities of creative responses, a freedom of expression where I feel I am nature and nothing can be incorrect. I began creating abstract work in August 2007.
My figurative work has been developing, since a visit to Amsterdam in 1998 when I was 17, as an investigation into sexuality, taboos and the narratives of how women and men use their sexual allure and the tensions or bliss it creates. I was studying in the Colchester Institute of Art and Design and had had a Church of England upbringing when the sex industry of Amsterdam blew me away.
Places I Would Like To Visit
WI: What does Wales mean to you? Home. When I lived in Essex I never had the feeling of home, more like a ‘please get me out here’ feeling. The land is very flat in Essex and you can see where you’re going hours before you get there. There’s no excitement of wondering what might lie behind a tree in the distance, just another lonely corn field. The saving grace of Clacton-on-Sea is the beach life.
I decided to study away from Essex, so at 17 I traveled around visiting universities. After seeing a few places in southern England that weren’t for me, I came to Cardiff. My sister lived in Aberdare at the time, so I could got to an open day at the Cardiff School of Art and then travel to see her.
I still remember that day very clearly. As I came off the train I got a feeling that still brings warm tears to my eyes, a feeling that had I never had before, one that wraps its arms around you like a mother with her child in that first moment after birth, the feeling of coming Home! Belonging. In Aberdare, my Sister and I went to the Bird in Hand on Monk street and I had a great time with the locals, who were very welcoming, even though between my Essex accent and their Welsh ones I’m not sure how much we understood each other.
The next day my sister took me to the Brecon Beacons and as we drove up and up, higher than I’d ever been before, and saw the sun rays breaking through the clouds over the mountains, I vowed never to live any where else but Wales. Wales is stamped on soul for all time.
WI: What do you most miss about Wales when you are away?
Everything. The rain and sunsets and beaches, the mountains the valleys and the people. I could pour my heart out for eternity with the magic I feel for this country, leaving it is like leaving a lover behind. As I cross the Severn Brigde. and return to Wales I always shout, “I’m home! I missed you!”, and the country engulfs my senses, its presence is in the air that I breathe and it vibrates through my feet as I walk on its ancient ground.
Art Forms And Cultures I Would Like To Engage With
Will update soon...
My Creative Influences & Favorite Artists
My mind started to imagine what it might be like to be a sex-worker at the end of night, relaxing in a brothel when all the clients have gone home. I still go back to that project now as inspiration. I used black and white photography to explore my imagination of behind-closed-doors world.
My tutor criticized my choice of theme, asking how I could be true to something that I had not experienced. The criticism has echoed in my mind ever since and, over the years, I have found myself close to that imagined world and I hope the truth of that research shows in my work.
This project is very different now. It reflects the allure of the naivety and innocence that we lose as the years go by. My mother would say that those early paintings show my descent into a debauched, sensual life, yet the painting she loves most of all is the one that encapsulates that very moment. I may not have turned out to be Nun, as she jokingly hoped, but she loves my work with all her spirit. My step father too repects what he calls my ability to push at all four sides of the box. Their faith and constant love has given me the desire to keep pushing at the boundaries.
WI: What is you’re favorite place in Wales?
Roath Park and the surrounding area is the most wonderful place in the world as far as I am concerned. I first moved here in July 1999 and before that I lived in student halls in Fairwater. Fairwater felt a little too far out and Roath was the perfect area for Howard Gardens CSAD students. I love the houses in Roath, I like a little history around me. The first time I walked to Roath Park and saw the swans and ducks was on a beautiful moonlit December night in 1998 with my friend Matt John. The moonlight on the Lake, with the Swans dancing elegantly, captured my heart for all time. I wish always to live in Roath.
I am now very settled in a lovely quiet cul-de-sack and there’s a lovely feeling of community. Matt John is now my agent and we often reminisce. My daughter now loves the park for walking and boating on the lake: I remember sitting in a boat with three umbrellas up laughing at the sheer silliness of our adventure, it’s great in the sun or the pouring rain. It’s always been a great inspiration to my work over the years and I have often sat and painted the trees and the river, the Autumn light coming through the branches and the swans and ducks, until my fingers go blue with the cold I can no longer grip my brush. Roath and its people are the place for my family and I.
WI: Favorite Welsh band or musician?
Cakehole Presely are good friends of ours and we listen to their fantastic up beat music on a daily basis. Their talent and passion vibrates through us every time we hear them and I just can’t help but get up and dance. My daughter Jasmin goes starry eyed and spins around with glee when Cakehole Presley play, lost in the beat and Joy.
On the flip side we love Sicknote. I’m not sure how to describe them, they are like an art form expressing their deep felt obscurity to the audience. We love the energy they release. It squeezes the spine and burns the minds, it’s an orgy of emotions and turns the ability to think into an explosion of movement. It’s a cascade of movement and an ocean in the eye of a storm! Jasmin is very much inspired by their music and sings their songs on the way to school.