I work outdoors making plein air studies of the land which I see as a living memorial to nature and mankind. I work almost exclusively across the post-industrial landscape of the south Wales valleys, preferring wet and windy weather. In 2019 I was artist in residence & 'Windy Draws' community art workshop leader at the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Site. I am committed to developing creative opportunities for young people - particularly participatory projects working outdoors.
But I am usually outdoors working but since 2014 I have been based at the unique WORKERS GALLERY an exhibition & studio space that embodies my belief that art is a job and also a powerful tool for positive cultural and social change.
The gallery is part of a vibrant valleys community, where artists are workers & art practice, appreciation and play have the potential for truly sustainable regeneration.
I was born in Birmingham & 'bred' in Dudley.
After studying Fine Art BA(Hons) at Exeter College of Art I secured a blacksmith apprenticeship directly after my studies in 1991. I developed my own upholstery & furniture design business in the late 90s, expanding into theatre design & arts-in-community projects.
I was awarded an AHRC scholarship in 2002, to study MA Furniture Design, specialising in funerary & commemorative design. On graduation I worked as a research assistant & part-time tutor of drawing, whilst developing my own commemoration-focused research.
I returned to South Wales with my sculptor husband in 2009 settling close to where my coal miner grandfather once lived. I feel profoundly connected with the landscape & my ancestors .
I was awarded a PhD from UCLan & the International Football Institute (the research arm of the National Football Museum) in 2017. My academic research considers the commemoration of my ancestor Duncan Edwards; Busby Babe, Manchester United & England football player who died as a result of injuries sustained in the 1958 Munich Air Disaster.
I am in the developmental stages of a new research project investigating the commemoration of the lost or missing in the landscape & the impact of weather on the land & visitors to it.
I have been involved in successful campaigns to save Cynon Valley Museum & Galleries, Aberdare from closure & to revive a closed library as the WORKERS GALLERY. More recently I have developed festivals & events to inspire people to visit the valleys & to encounter art and working artists.
I am inspired by my experiences & observations of being an artist & gallerist & advocate for artist-led sustainable regeneration.