I haven’t got an art degree, or a foundation course…I have a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) but it is in Geography and Social Studies. Huge numbers of hours for my O level was spent in the ceramics room, and IB higher art was mostly about knitwear design, being befuddled by the whole art thing..I just didnt get it, no matter how hard I tried. Going to art galleries when at school made my head fizz..I can remember going on a London gallery tour for a week and having a migraine every night, such was my struggle to understand what was going on. Most of my coursework art interview was spent explaining what the Tony Cragg show I went to was all about, (and asking me about foam core..something I use a lot now) and my grade was below what was expected..I think that is why I didn’t pursue art. And I didn’t know any happy artists.
It is funny how life rotates on odd things that happen.
I didn’t really enjoy the knitting project I was involved with at school, and dreamt of playing on life boats (we had a student manned RNLI unit), so got involved in boat building, loved it . I then went off sailing in my gap year, and reluctantly turned down a round the world voyage and went to university. I havent knitted since. I stayed on after hating my first year of speech therapy training because I had recently met some great people, and had a flat lined up with them. Combined Arts took on me on the very last day of term and anthropology, marine biology and geography was the plan. I dropped the marine biology out of practicality but did the rest and loved it. I was a bit of a social misfit, and learned a lot about people and socialising in those years, and maybe that was my main education. I was selected to go on an expedition to Fiji and my backer and holiday employer was a bit on the dodgy side, so I had to take a bank loan out to go. I got glandular fever with all the stress, damaged my body severely going on the trip and made earrings to pay back the very demanding banks loan. I struggled for years with post viral fatigue, and made jewellery whilst I recovered.
The Tee shirt design for Fiji bears many similarities to my later maritime work, and the discipline of jewellery having to be simple but effective in design and colour is the basis of much of my art.
Now I am fascinated by people, psychology, ancient art and culture, healing, ancient art and culture, underwater world and its creatures, boats, maps and how the world works..the threads that ran through my education decisions early on, and are more and more playing out in my art. Who knows where it will take me, but it is definitely an interesting journey, and is all linked..somehow. And added to all this, I am starting to get the whole art thing without my head fizzing, and might even be doing some art student teaching myself…but that is another story.