I have painted for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I had watercolour lessons with my Gran, who was not actually my Gran but my Stepmother. I come from complicated. For this reason I will always consider watercolours to be special even though over the years I have developed a love for oils. Painting is incredibly important to me because it makes me feel connected to her still, each day.
Throughout my life the spoken word has felt like an alien language. Painting has always been a natural way for me to process and express emotions and ideas that otherwise seem intangible. It is a way of bridging the inner and outer world, of giving form to that which seems inexpressive and unspeakable. My work primarily explores themes of self and identity, creating reflections of an inner world. Behind each piece lies a hidden story, an idea, emotion or memory transfixed in time. Even though my work features the portraits of different female models, I consider that I am usually painting myself. The heavy make-up feels symbolic to me of protection, of a mask. The mask is a metaphor, preventing feelings, thoughts and essentially myself from being exposed before the scrutiny of others.
I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Scenic Art from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and a BA Hons Degree in Textiles from the University of the West of England. When it comes to oil painting I am self- taught. After completing my formal education I went to work as a Scenic Artist for the Welsh National Opera. During my time there I worked on productions for companies including English National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne, The Royal Opera House and the BBC. More recently I have chosen to focus on producing my own work.