I am a community artist, film-maker and project manager with an eclectic mix of experience in visual art and drama and more than 30 years of experience of working in the arts. I trained in Fine Art at Sir John Cass School of Art, London and Bristol Polytechnic and also hold the Sesame Certificate in Drama and Movement Therapy and a P.G.C.E. in primary education. Recently I have completed City and Guilds in Design and Stitch with Omega Stitch School.
Having moved to Stroud in Gloucestershire in 2015, I am focusing on developing my textile work and teaching and I now lead a children’s art club The Making Space at Imagine where we explore a range of media and an adult creative textile course at Make It Studios, Fromehall Mill. In 2016 I completed a wall-hanging at Scarlet House Care UK Home, in Ebley, Stroud. This piece is based on the wool industry of the Stroud valleys and the Stroud Scarlet cloth which was made there for centuries and which clothed the British army. The collage was hung in St Mary’s Mill as part of National Open Mills week and the Site Festival weekends and now hangs permanently in the foyer of Scarlet House.
Having lived in Oxford for twenty years prior to moving to Stroud, I have worked as lead artist on many arts projects in Oxfordshire, for Fusion, Kids@art, Oxford Concert Party, Arts4Age, Re-create, ITHACA, Libra Theatre Company, Community Education and others in schools and day centres, with children, older and disabled people, using visual art and also drama and movement. I enjoy working with older people and have a particular interest in creating collages from painted papers and textiles.
I have co-led three inter-generational projects linking children and older people through the arts, and particularly through the medium of collage, working in collaboration with another artist. This worked particularly well with a storyteller, Adele Moss. I have also worked in collaboration with two musicans from Oxford Concert Party leading a project called Food for Thought in several day centres for older people in Oxfordshire. My contribution was collage, papier mache and salt dough sculptures.
In my role of Community Development Worker on the Cutteslowe Housing Estate in North Oxford (from 2004 to 2012) I organised a programme of creative after school clubs for children and teenagers which included art, dance and community mural painting projects and the Arts Awards, in which I trained as an adviser.
I also worked previously as Arts Projects Manager for ITHACA, an arts and disability charity, for many years, setting up and co-ordinating participatory arts projects, exhibitions and festivals in a wide range of settings with disabled people and those with identified mental health needs. As part of my role I set up a mentoring scheme for artists with disabilities to develop workshop leadership skills. I managed two extensive programmes of work with Oxfordshire Mind which included projects in day centres and high profile exhibitions of work made by service users and I also co-ordinated a publication, CD rom and video about the programmes.