I have participated in many residencies, international and national but this has been the best. This was my first trip to India.I was interested in this project as I have always admired Indian art and culture, in particular Indian miniatures, the wonderful rich textiles, the carvings of Islamic art and the wonderful imagery found in Hindu temples. During the residency I have seen first hand traditional art and architecture as well as contemporary art.One of the aims of the residency was to make drawings for a group show at the Arts Centre. I was inspired by the landscape and able to work in the lovely studio with a mix of Indian music playing in
the background.The kite flying festival was a joy and we were welcomed on to the terraces in many different places to join in the celebrations. All my senses were alive as the music, colours, the tug of the kites and the
smell of spices filled the air. The imagery will fuel my imagination for years to come.Speaking to the artists from Baroda has been inspirational and there was a remarkable chemistry in the group. We became a “family” in a short space of time.I felt very privileged to participate in this residency where I gained a real insight to the culture and art in Baroda. This was not from a tourist’s viewpoint but from the perspective of artists living and
working in the city.The residency was well organised and I would not hesitate in
Where are you based?
I am currently based at Harrington Mill Studios in Long Eaton. As the studios will be closing at the end of 2018 I will be working from my home studio in Southwell, Notts. I eventually hope to move to Backlit in Nottingham in 2019.
How did your artwork start out?
After graduating from Nottingham Trent University in 1995 my work was abstract and inspired by different environments including landscapes, cityscapes and the home. Although the final pieces were non figurative I made lots of observational drawings and colour studies. My work has always been rooted in research and observation..
The big change to figurative work came as a result of moving to Chelmsford in Essex. There were no studios around and I felt isolated. I enrolled on an MA in children’s book illustration at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge as I have always loved children’s books and I saw it as a new challenge. It meant I could develop work at the kitchen table and learn new skills including storytelling and how to develop sequential images. As well as writing and illustrating children’s picture books I made large immersive sequential drawings.
As much as I enjoyed illustrating I knew I wanted to continue painting. I therefore fused the story telling with the painterly qualities of the previous abstract paintings to make new work.
The MA course required me to get under the skin of different characters and this led to my interest in body language and the