My artistry is the culmination of all my life experiences, the world around me and the people I love.
I received my BA in textiles at John Moore’s University going on to study my masters at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Over these years one of the greatest experiences that taught me a great deal about being an artist came through developing my relationship with religion. This took a lot of pressure away from what I was doing; it helped to free me from my self-made constraints and improved my ability as an artist.
I went on to work as a community artist and freelance designer in London for fourteen years. The bulk of this work was leading creative workshops and theatre productions in schools and youth groups. I also worked extensively with people in deprivation and addiction, the homeless and in church groups reaching out to people living on the very extreme margins of society.
This taught me two really important things: firstly, that art and the activity of producing beautiful objects, can bring about powerful wellbeing in anyone; and secondly, creativity could act as a leveling ‘bridge’ between these deprived individuals and the partners and donors who wanted to benefit them
Our business came about when my Husband Tim spurred me into action with a simple question, ‘I married an artist – when are you going to start doing your own work?’ This call to action finally allowed me to pursue my own artistic goals whilst still being able to help others with everything I had learnt. The next couple of weeks saw me, six month’s pregnant and sitting on my studio floor, creating new canvases, ceramics and jewelry, which later that month we began to sell at Greenwich Market, where we soon became regular traders.
As trade grew, we started to invest in the business with new equipment being bought in to develop new products and designs. Bigger premises followed, as did trade shows and wholesale opportunities across the UK. Eventually Tim quit his job as a theatre sound engineer in London and we moved to Tim’s hometown of Bishop Auckland to set up our first studio.
The North East and Bishop Auckland especially is an area of continuous growth. Though it has been hit by the recession harder then most, creativity and artistic passion still exists here. There are exciting new projects in the region aimed directly at bringing creative regeneration back through the Auckland Castle Trust, the Eleven Arches Trust and other enterprise agencies and councils all pulling together as one force. We aim to play an important part in that, as we can offer practical creative training, skills and jobs to unemployed young people, apprentices and interns; as well as mentoring new business start-ups and creative entrepreneurs.