Headdresses = Strength - Courage - Bravery - Status.
Born in Blackpool on the Lancashire coast, my early childhood was mainly spent in the sea and on the beach at the tides edge sifting through piles of seaweed, washed up rubbish and driftwood in search of what I thought was treasure. Many hours of possibly misspent youth in the bright lights of the amusement arcades and the graphics of the machines influencing me towards a career path in the graphic arts.
Studying at the local College of Art & Design for 4 years and in the final year specialising in typography. Graduating with distinctions and membership of SIAD (the Society of Industrial Artists and designers) and also STD (the society of Typographic Designers).
My professional career path has been varied and started with working for architectural practices and interior design companies where I designed graphics for interiors, corporate headquarters, shopping centres and urban graphics.
Always eager to grow my career and gain knowledge I moved onto designing and illustrating for a book publishing company working on many coffee table books, reference books and best-sellers.
A stint in an advertising agency opened my eyes to a completely different approach to creating work for a quick moving commercial sales market.
With all the experience gained I set up my own full service design and marketing agency which went on to work with many well know corporate and high street brands. Having successfully built up the agency over 20 years plus I was fortunate to sell on the business to pursue a new path.
With a wealth of knowledge gained from working with some inspirational English and International companies and having a passion for interiors and the arts inspired me to create my next venture. English Emporium, which provided an eclectic mix of antiques, mid century furniture, Objet d’art, and up-cycled items for the English style home. We helped many companies and private clients including a few celebrities by sourcing and creating unusual pieces of furniture and objects of art to fit their interiors.
Sadly due to developing cancer in early 2019 I had to let it go. My recent battle against cancer and subsequent recovery however gave me time to explore and find my own artistic style. Whilst going through this battle of treatment I had to be brave but being a passionate animal lover all my life I couldn’t help but think of how endangered animals across the world have to be brave and battle to survive. I was lucky as I had the NHS to pull me through.
The animal kingdom is under threat far more than ever before with the increase in population, industrialisation and meeting the needs of the human race. Animals cannot voice their concerns, views and campaign about what is wrong and what is right. They cannot fight so it’s up to us to do the fighting on their behalf. In my eyes each threatened animal is a warrior and should be seen as one, for if they could they would stand up and unite no matter how large or small. Why headdresses? The headdress is a well-known symbol of strength, courage, bravery and respect in many cultures. Worn by warriors from many nations in hundreds of different forms, styles and materials for centuries.
Almost all elements of my work come from discarded/used magazines, books and other materials and are sculpted by hand with some painted elements. Some people call it ‘collage’ I like to think of it differently and more sculptural. However recently ‘Davina McCall’ described my work in her recent podcast as ‘objet trouvé’ which sums it up perfectly.
The art forces the viewer to explore and discover the personality and environment the animal lives in, from forests to deserts, and includes other native species found in their habitat. Spectacular in their own right, each animal portrait is fashioned and adorned with additional elements from the past and today’s society. By creating the warriors (Wild Warriors and Woodland Warriors) I aim to highlight the plight they face, promote conservation and aid in funding support.
With my latest piece I’ve been developing my style with a much ‘sharper edge’. Using Repoussé and cutting techniques the ‘Tiger wild warrior’ Titled HANUMAN is created almost entirely from recycled drinks cans along with copper sprayed recycled aluminium. The piece is very impressive and dramatic being 1 metre square and is presented in a deep box frame. I’m also exploring prints direct on to sheet metal or canvas prints which would could be hand embellished with foils or paint. More works in this style are also in the pipeline.
I have another series called the ‘Wild Ones’, people in history and fiction that appeal to me in the way that they have a certain look, a kind of spirit that captivates you. Wild and free, brilliantly minded, supremely talented and highly courageous. Each piece tries to capture the personality and character of the subject enhancing beauty, mystery and intrigue.