The paintings exhibited here are the result of many layers of thinly applied oil paint, which are peeled back to reveal the lost surface beneath. Imagination informs my work as well as initial observation. Valleys and paths are created over time and as new layers are dragged along the textured relief, an illusion of depth and transparency is created.
Recent paintings are smaller in more organic, local colours. I am constantly reframing my work, reprinting and overlaying sections of larger canvases.
They often reflect the joy of being in transit, looking down at the world or recollecting a landscape ‘in absentia’.
The portraits represent the beautiful weathering of the human face as seen in the remains of ancient cultures.
Whilst still at school, I went at weekends to the local art school, where I learnt to mix skin tones and copy the Old Masters. On a British Council trip to Russia I discovered the Fauves for the first time and seeing Matisse in the Hermitage brought a realisation of how powerful colour can be.
A term spent in Aix en Provence helped my paintings become more spontaneous.
My MA in German Contemporary Studies introduced me to important Contemporary German painters such as Josef Beuys, Gerhardt Richter and Anselm Kiefer and the influence that art can have on society.
As my family was growing up I attended weekly life drawing and painting classes at Brunel University and was lucky to exhibit in the wonderful purpose built Beldam gallery.
I cut down on my teaching to spend more time on painting and began to sell my work in Spitalfields and Leadenhall Market in the City . There were Art Fairs here and abroad where I made lifelong friends, summer exhibitions in MOMA Wales and important connections with an extended family of artists in Hillingdon.
On frequent trips to Mexico, I was often one of the few visitors in huge, amazing art galleries. I saw incredible natural wonders and sketching in Oaxacan courtyards, I met other artists passing through. Carlos Fuentes’ book El Espejo Enterrado helped me understand how cultures overlap and how layers that obscure the past can be violently exposed. Mexico also inspired me to develop successful projects with a focus on how art can transform a community.
My own Welsh heritage is full of paradoxes - rich landowners on the one side, poor but cultured coal miners and teachers on the other. In Wales the calm beautiful water of a reservoir conceals a drowned village, the shaft of a mine, now a tourist attraction, previously sent thousands of men to their deaths. History has been rewritten and obscured in layers.
Losing my remarkable, charismatic father to dementia and seeing my lovely family grow has helped me appreciate my own roots but also allowed me to branch out again artistically as I embrace a new life in Oxfordshire.