I'm a York-based artist working in acrylics, oils, wax, wood and more, from palm-sized to wall-sized.
Storytelling, history and biology are the core interests fuelling my work, and though I'm primarily a figurative painter I have more equipment in my studio than I can list; I keep chasing after new media - from opal carving to etching - and have various multimedia projects in the pipeline.
Traditional craftsmanship and long hours go into everything I make, but it starts with a light and airy idea or a desire to communicate the atmosphere of a place...before it descends into research rabbit holes about its history and stories, and endless refinement as I chase after the subject. I enjoy inventing subjects as much as making studies, and sometimes the direct technical challenge of teasing out clarity of form is as satisfying as weaving in a grander narrative.
I’m largely self-taught, guided by a string of fantastic artists through my teens and working at my local gallery, Gallery 42, and exhibiting in local art shows. I spent a month at the The Florence Academy of Art studying classical realism in 2013, learning the techniques of chiaroscuro still life painting using the site-size technique, and getting to grips with the rules of oil paint. I enjoy using still life paintings to explore history; particularly using antique objects that I try to revitalise through a painted setting. I’m attracted to intricacy and subjects that suggest a hidden narrative, ranging from 18th century Jacobite symbolism to bogwood and crysalises.
I studied for a BA Hons in Fine Art and Creative Writing from Lancaster University, finishing the degree in 2017 by co-curating an ekphrastic exhibition, Telling in Full, with my coursemate Jessica Elleray . We invited artists to respond to a piece of text of their choice in a fine art medium, throwing up some fascinating translations; it also cut our teeth in curation, which was a refreshing change from making work ourselves. Creative collaborations between writing and the visual arts will always fascinate me, as well as the relationship between author and illustrator. I talk about my art and writing on The Wandering Bard podcast, interviewed by fellow Lancaster alumnus, author, artist and hiker, Ines Gregori Labarta.
I'm moving from York to Truro soon, but I'll still have gallery representation up north. Having worked in the magnificent Victorian Beverley House in York, I'm moving my studio to the magnificent Georgian Princes House in Truro (a room in the servants' quarters, naturally!) Both cities have rich histories and were dynamic in the 18th century, which is my era of interest; particularly how medicine and surgery was practiced in the 18th century. My interest in medicine feeds into my work as I learn human anatomy with the help of drawings and scale models, and I'm fascinated by antique medical illustrations. How developments in medical understanding influence culture is a research project that I’ll continue to explore, through my artwork and writing, with the intention to inspire curiosity in others...
- The Boston Spa Arts and Crafts Festival 2014 Bursary Award
- The Programme Prize for Prose, awarded by the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, 2017.
- The Boston Spa Arts Festival 2011-2014
- East Keswick Art 28th September 2013
- Gallery 42 Miniatures 2014
- 53 Things to do in Zero Gravity Lancaster University Fine Art Degree Show 2017
- Co-Curated the Telling in Full Exhibition at the Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster, 6th-8th July 2017. Part of the Lancaster Words Festival.
- SIX, King Street Studios, Lancaster, 13th Oct - 4th Nov 2017
- ART<100, King Street Studios, Lancaster, 30th Nov - 23rd Dec 2017
- LA Summer Exhibition, King Street Studios, Lancaster, 28th July-8th Sept 2018
- Great North Art Show, Ripon Cathedral, Ripon, 1st-23rd Sept 2018
- The Boston Spa Arts Festival, Boston Spa, 12th-13th Oct 2018
- Portals exhibition of miniatures at King Street Studios, Lancaster, 1st February 30th March 2019
- The Hilliard Society of Miniaturists Annual Exhibition, Wells Town Hall, Somerset. 1st June – 8th June 2019
- The Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail, Hazelwood Hall Pavilion, Silverdale, Lancashire. Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th June 2019.
- The Heron Theatre, Beetham, Cumbria: November 15th - December 21st 2019