Christine Amber Stangroom
Unable to take up an offered scholarship at 16 to any London art School of my choice, due to an unco-operative head teacher, I still harboured a wish to 'become an artist', so continued untutored at home while raising a family and having a career. Originally a sketcher and painter in oils, I then explored various media studying Fine Art at the University of Derby, eventually graduating as a mature student in 2002.
I still love variety in my creativity. Along with oil painting and mixed media, I resumed printmaking, which I had first tried as traditional line etching in 1998. I was taught more environmentally friendly techniques by Anna Johnson at Green Door Printmaking Studio. I since enjoy other courses at the same studio, which give me many printmaking techniques to play with. Play being the operative word. Art for me has to be pleasurable, experimental, therapeutic and as stress-free as possible. I now have a studio with etching press at home to maximise opportunities to work when inspiration strikes.
Much of my work addresses 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 use repeatedly.
My most recent work is based on Draumskrok (dream nonsense) informed by my numerous dream journals, which I have been keeping for several years. As my dreams are very involved, colourful and vivid, it can be a puzzle deciding on which object or feature within the dream to depict, or whether to use a more abstract approach to show the essence of the dream. I have looked at the work of the Surrealists most of my life but that does not help much! This project is in its early stages and will undoubtedly evolve.
Seven years ago I founded the Oakwood Art Group in Derby, which is now a flourishing group of artists. We meet weekly at Oakwood Community Centre. Two of our members are involved in printmaking, though most work in watercolours, acrylics and pastels.