I originally trained as a primary school teacher studying art as a main subject and after marrying moved to Wales and worked for many years as a supply teacher in primary and secondary schools often to my great delight working in art departments. Throughout my time teaching and afterwards when I had left to set up my own business, I continued to go on art courses to satisfy my love of art. After my family had grown up I was at last able to go to art school. Two years later I was the proud holder of an FdA in art and design and then went on to study part time for a further two years in order to obtain a Professional Printmaking Diploma. Since 2008 I have worked as a professional artist and my practice whilst constantly evolving continues to have the same thread running through which comes from my fascination with both everyday life and early photographic methods.
are a constant source of fascination to me. A face glimpsed in passing or a snippet
of conversation overheard provides only the merest hint at lives being played
out. What secrets lie behind the respectable facades that line our streets?
What skeletons lurk in family closets or adventures visit these people in their
dreams? Old photographs seem to try and tell me their stories and though those who knew
the true story may have gone long ago their images remain frozen in time. I often use the cyanotype process invented in 1842 by Sir John
Herschel to reproduce vintage photographic images. As the image emerges on the
paper I gaze into the eyes of the person appearing before me. Who were the
girls posing in the Paris photographer’s studio over a century ago? What sort
of lives did they lead as the ‘Page 3’ girls of their time? Perhaps they also
posed for the avant-garde Parisian artists, drank absinthe in the Montmartre
bars and maybe even now their unrecognised eyes look back at us from countless art
gallery walls. Did they hope to meet a kind gentleman to care for them? Was it
their lot to endure a life of poverty? I shall never know but I can travel a
little way along life’s path with them in my imagination.
My interest in the Victorian era has led me to explore other aspects of the period and Victorian butterfly collections became the inspiration for contemporary pieces I incorporated into a large installation.. I have continued to make my own 'collections' from recycled papers. Each paper butterfly is mounted using pins just as they were in Victorian times but the ‘butterflies’ themselves and the subject matter refers very much to the contemporary world. The interplay between the two periods fascinates me as does the concept of a life captured and trapped in time for future generations to see.I incorporate cyanyotype on fabric in my installation pieces and explore the concept of our own fragility and of the impermanence of life.