Thanks to an uncooperative head teacher, in 1967 I was unable to accept the offer of a scholarship to any London art school. So for many years I painted in oils at home and in art societies, whilst raising children, vegetables and following an alternative career. I eventually graduated in 2002 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (as a mature student). During my time as a studio holder in Banks Mill, I became interested in printmaking and won a prize in the Leicester City Open. I participated in the AA2A scheme at University of Derby in 2005-6, producing a body of work in photographic etching. Over several years, I have learnt various techniques at my local printmaking studio, Green Door Printmaking Studio. Locally I have exhibited at Quad, Deda, Derby Cathedral Centre, University of Derby (Green Lane), Banks Mill and Royal Derby Hospital.
I also enjoy participating in international print exchanges. In 2012 I founded Oakwood Art Group (Derby) which is a thriving weekly club for local creatives. I use various printmaking techniques to achieve my desired result (I favour the least toxic methods) including acrylic resist etching, cyanotype, drypoint and collagraph. I usually make my plates at Green Door and print at home on my etching press (fondly known as Emily Maria). I have dreamt in great detail for as long as I can remember. Some dreams are like sagas, serials or blockbuster movies, but it’s often the small details which stay with me. It was a Horse Dream eighteen years ago which kickstarted my habit of recording my nocturnal sleep adventures in a journal. During a period of ‘artist’s block’ I decided to consult my Dream Journals as a source of inspiration.
My recent work is based on Draumskrok (the Danish word for ‘dream nonsense’). Scientists and psychologists have differing views on the purpose of dreams. When they are written down and reread years later I can visualise them just as the original. In my mind, I am back in that place… My dreams are full of friends, celebrities and strangers and sometimes strangers who feel like friends. I meet creatures of many kinds and abilities. I visit homes and places both familiar and unfamiliar (or a combination of both). Experiencing time travel and being a different age or gender from reality are not unusual. Even abilities I do not have can manifest in dreams, such as flying (possible using a breastroke swimming action)! Much of my previous work has addressed presence in absence, traces, spirit of place, nostalgia and memories. The representation of a person and/or their memories, by an object, a place or a building, is a device I have used repeatedly. So I guess the selection of part of a dream is not such a departure for me. The human mind unbound by wakefulness is a wonderful and surprising source of ideas. My prints show a glimpse of just a few of my many dreams. For me, making art has to be fun! (Due to a forthcoming exhibition, my work will be available for sale after mid September)
PREVIOUSLY SELECTED PRINTS
Joy Dance Dream
Acrylic Resist Etching w/ Spit Bite and Aquatint on Vintage (1950s) WS Hodgkinson (Wookey Hole)