I was born in 1984 and spent my childhood years in Kidderminster, North Worcestershire mostly drawing things, making a mess and playing with ponies.
After completing my GCSE’s and A levels I chose initially to work with horses and took further study in Equine Science at Hartpury College. This proved to be an invaluable choice as the studies involving equine anatomy; comparative anatomy and equine behaviour have greatly influenced the core of my work ever since.
After some time out in the real world, I decided that the other love of my life (Art) had been terribly neglected. I chose to go back into education, undertaking a fine art degree at Hereford College of Arts (before the government could hike up the tuition fees any further!). This is where I refined my technique and spent the time experimenting with materials and moving more towards sculptural work as well as drawing and painting.
Mixed media works have always held my attention. I believe that there can be real power in the choice of material used to make a sculpture. Each item is loaded with its own meaning and I am a great believer in choosing a material that has a relevance to the overall work.
I have really found a liking for working with wool and this is the basis for my current sculptural work. Wool is an incredibly tactile material that has been farmed for human use. It can be manipulated and shaped into almost anything for our benefit. I feel that the ancient process of needle felting and the wool itself mirrors the breeding, training and shaping of young horses for use as leisure, sport and work animals.
My work also underpins a question that has rattled around in my head since college:
"When does craft become art and
art become craft?"
I know this has been explored by some artists previously and the idea of kitsch is something that often comes up in contemporary pieces, but really, how can one technique of making be seen as a lesser form than another?
So although the technique for these sculptures is seen as a "Craft" I would like to think that I chose the technique not for the appearance or image of it, but because it was relevant and it felt right for what I wanted to convey.
Much like the paintings, I am often inspired by my personal interactions or observations with horses i know and i usually work from a photo of something that i have observed, a first hand drawing or sometimes just a memory of a body position or interaction between two horses.
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