I'm a Cornwall-based artist working in acrylics, oils, wax, wood and more, from palm-sized to wall-sized.
Storytelling, history and biology keep me painting, and though I'm primarily a figurative painter I have a studio full of equipment and experiments; opal carving, etching, woodwork and more feed into my practice in various combinations.
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 home town gallery in Yorkshire, 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 love using still life paintings to explore history, trying to revitalise antique objects through a painted setting. Intricacy and subjects that suggest a hidden narrative interest me, 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, and also cutting our teeth in curation. 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.
Having worked in my native city of York, I've recently moved to Cornwall to the equally beautiful city of Truro. I've swapped my cosy cubby-hole studio in the Victorian Beverley House in York, for a more glamourous garret in the Georgian Princes House in Truro, and am enjoying going back in time even further! The 18th century is my pet era and the architecture is particularly rich in Truro, with plenty of local history to explore through paintings.
After having a decent stab at a career change into medicine, I'm back where I belong in the art world, and exercise my fascination for medicine by learning human anatomy - making drawings and scale models, and applying them to my figure drawings - as well as studying medical history. 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 Nicholas Hilliard Award for 'Cathedral Cave', awarded by the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists, 2021.
- The President's Special Commendation for 'Walsingham Cave, Bermuda', awarded by the Royal Miniature Society, 2021.
- 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
- The Hilliard Society of Miniaturists Annual Exhibition, Wells, 5th June - 12th June 2021.
- The Royal Miniature Society 125th Anniversary Exhibition, London, 25th November - 5th December 2021.