My passion for shape, form and flow began early, as I sculpted sand and sketched waves near my childhood home on Hayling Island. Art was the only part of my public school life I enjoyed so I went on to study at Brighton College of Art. Although it was 1965, and a potentially exciting era for art, I left Brighton to study anthropology and the Thai Language and Literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Later, a Masters degree in Development Economics led to a long career working and living for periods overseas.
My life of travel began early when I spent time in New Zealand, travelling around the Fiji islands on a copra boat before returning to England for a grand stand view of the Queen's coronation in the Strand. Later, my career led me to travel again working on many development projects on several different continents. In Asia, I worked in Laos, Thailand, Burma and India; in Africa, in Ghana, the Gambia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda; and in Central America, I spent eight years in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I worked with local NGOs on the prevention of soil erosion and promotion of vetiver grass for this purpose. Nowadays, I spend my time between the cool, clear light northern Scotland and the warm, green glow of south west England.
Alongside my career in development, my interest in form and colour intensified in the vibranl light and exuberant cultures in the tropics. However, my use of colour in the way you see it today began when my son, Oliver, was born in 1979. With less time to put up an easel, I discovered the immediacy possible with oil pastels, which I use to create a strong blend of shape, form and colour.
Artistic influences on my work date from visits to Venice, Rome and Florence in my teens, and Michelangelo and Bronzino have remained a particular inspiration. The traditional art world of West Africa, Asia and Mexico, with their rhythms, textiles and sculptures, has had a profound impact, as have recent European artists including Jawlenski, Kirschner. De Chiricco, Leger, Dali, Chagall, Kandinsky, Rothko, and contemporary artists such as Gormley and Mereilis.
Other influences that do not always emerge in particular visual form but have nonetheless been inspirational include Thai inscriptions, the history of Burma, The Scissor Sisters, esoteric perception, Buddhist philosophy, Oaxaca, Pacific beaches, Philip Glass, Fijian coral, sailing and the sea, Tubular Bells, unnamed emotions, E. F. Schumacher, the Gurdjieff Work, global and local politics, Taverner’s Whale, the under dog, evolution, consciousness, Schubert, particle physics, the brain, Ken Wilber, Jungian analysis, vetiver grass, mescal, Little Red Rooster and Sharkey’s Day …. and Night..