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 class myself as a figurative painter primarily I have more equipment in my studio than I can list; the consequence of curiosity towards working with all sorts of media, from opal carving to etching. Traditional craftsmanship, long hours and graft 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, but have been guided by a string of fantastic artists through my teens, 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, and finished 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 and multimedia projects will always fascinate me, particularly between writing and the visual arts, and the relationship between author and illustrator.
I now work from my studio in York at Beverley House, run by the wonderful arts charity Skippko as part of their Blank Canvas scheme. York is probably my favourite city and I’ll never tire of exploring it; I love painting its buildings, existing and long gone, and my distinctly work-in-progress novel is set in 18th century York. The plot revolves around 18th century medicine, and ultimately, I want to communicate a passion for exploring our present relationship with health and healthcare through the arts. My interest in medicine and biology 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
A solo exhibition of my work in this fantastic 18th century former school house turned arts venue: http://theherontheatre.com/index.php A mix northern landscapes, with a couple of antipodean sketches in there too from my recent trip to New Zealand! (A full show of NZ paintings will follow in 2020 all being well)