I develop and deliver story-based art projects that engage and inspire people of all abilities and ages to learn new skills whilst developing their confidence and sense of wellbeing. A core feature is helping everybody to feel involved and inspired, enjoying a playful and imaginative experience whilst creating something that they are delighted with.
Originally I trained in Fine Art and, after running a series of workshops for children, discovered how much I enjoy teaching and trained as a primary teacher. Was a class teacher for ten years, across the primary age range, whilst my own children were young. Trained as a forest school leader and developed whole school projects that linked art/outdoors and story telling across the key stages, involving families and staff. My class spent a whole day outside every week, whatever the weather, exploring the curriculum whilst developing enthusiasm and ownership of the trees, fields and gardens near the school.
Left full time teaching in 2009 to take an MA in Children’s Book Illustration and develop my art/education practice; was awarded a fellowship with the Digswell Arts Trust in 2012 and currently work from their studios in Welwyn, making books, animations, pictures and sculptures. Also plan and deliver educational projects at schools and other venues for students and teachers.
Short-listed for several art awards, including the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2008) The Open Art Competition (2009, 2010 and 2012). First children’s book “Meine Schwester Mag” was published in 2014 by Carl Auer in Germany and have exhibited across the UK and abroad.
Contrasts and Opposites: Spring 2016:
Collaborative light painting/percussion project working with young people with special needs at Trestle Theatre in St Albans. Supported by Hertfordshire Music Service.
Let’s Animate the Firebird: Autumn 2015:
Over 200 participants during the two-day event, which took the firebird stories and poems as inspiration. Families made and animated firebirds whilst learning simple stop motion animation techniques; everybody was involved and joined in with something, including the adults. Many families said they will use their new skills at home. A short video showing families at work on the animations can be seen here:
Outside Stories: Summer 2015
Story outdoor project with Woolenwick Infant School, Stevenage over the summer term. Worked with nursery, reception, year 1 and year 2 staff and pupils, helping them develop story-telling skills using the outdoor environment as inspiration with art, games and story telling and listening. For instance, the year 2 children created their own working pencils from natural materials and hollowed out elder in order to inspire stories about magic pencils, which they wrote with their pencils.
Fenners Artist’s Workshops: 2012 – 2014
In 2013and 2014, as part of Letchworth Festival, I achieved funding for, organized and ran a series of summer artist-led workshops for schools and families at the Digswell Arts Trust’s new premises in Letchworth. This provided paid income for ten artists, free workshops for all local primary and secondary schools as well as families and special needs groups. The emphasis was on giving participants the opportunity to work with artists in a studio environment and on giving artists the chance to engage with the local community. Many of the school children came back with their families for the weekend events. These events were funded by North Herts District Council and Letchworth Heritage Foundation.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014 I organized Big Draw events at Fenners, involving other artists. These events were supported by Digswell Arts Trust.
Magnificent Creatures: Autumn 2013
Five week outdoor project for families, after hours at Standalone Farm, developed and delivered a project for families with children of all ages to work together in the autumn evening environment of the farm, creating artwork inspired by the farm. Ages from babies to grandparents. Funded by Letchworth Heritage Foundation.
On-going throughout 2013, 14, 15 and 16:
Continued to develop and deliver workshops for primary and secondary children and teachers in schools, galleries and other venues, including artist residency at Dot-to-Dot gallery in Letchworth. Regular workshops include: lantern making, book binding, colour mixing, charcoal drawing. You can see images from some of the workshops here:
2011 MA (Children’s Book Illustration) Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge
2008 Forest School Level 3 Bridgewater College, Somerset
1997 PGCE Herts University
1990 BA (Hones) Fine Art Herts University
Other recent short courses:
Drawing the Graphic Novel at the Royal Drawing School, London (2014)
Traditional Bookbinding Skills at We Make Books, London (2012)
Story telling at the International School of Story Telling, Sussex (2012)