Find me at Crufts 2021 - news dates 15-18th July
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About Me

Hello and a warm welcome to my website. I hope you enjoy scrolling through the pages! Here is a little bit about me and my work.

I am an artist based in Yorkshire, England and have been so since I graduated from Manchester University in 1999 with a first class honours degree in Contemporary Craft (where I specialised in ceramic sculpture and printed textiles). I have always had a deep love of animals and nature and it has always been a natural choice of subject matter for me in my work. I started to specialise in dogs after being inspired by a wonderful Doberman I looked after while I was at university and everything just catapulted from there!

In 2001 I had my first solo exhibition and also my first installation at the City Galleries Leicester entitled Elvis the Whippet’s salon, another followed in 2003 at Mima, Middlesborough (Operation Jumpsuit) and Libre les Grenouilles was shown at the Craft Council Gallery shop, London in 2004. Alongside these I have had many shows including Stephanie Hoppen and Medici gallery in London and regularly exhibit in some of the UK’s most prestigious galleries.

In 2010 I was commissioned by Stockport Art Gallery to come up with another installation idea and Reggie’s Roller Palace was born. A mini version was taken that Summer to the vintage festival at Goodwood and I also completed my first solo show of oil paintings (featuring Marabou storks) that year at the Dean Clough Galleries in Halifax which I was immensely proud of and to my surprise was a sell out!

My first daughter was born in 2012  and with the demands of motherhood came the need to ditch intensive exhibitions and concentrate on commission work. I have made this my sole focus of my practice over the last few years and my one yearly retail show - Crufts dog show is now my main selling event, held every March at the NEC in Birmingham.

In 2017 I set up an art club to enhance art provision in schools and it has proved extremely rewarding and also very popular with the children. We have managed to appear on a live Blue Peter show and twice made it to the finals of the David Shepherd Global Art children’s competition held at the Natural History Museum in London. This side of my work is unfortunately paused due to the pandemic but I have big plans and will be very excited when we are up and running again - I have really missed the children! I am also painting again and developing a new business venture which has been in the pipeline for a number of years so watch this space! 


CV

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About The Sculptures

The unique characters present in the animal kingdom always have and continues to provide endless fascination for me and with this a rich and unlimited source of inspiration. It was whilst at university and living on a farm that I first started incorporating canines into my work ... I became fascinated with their (often absurd) individual personalities and since then on I have become intent on capturing this in my work.

Although dogs remain at the forefront of my work I am particularly drawn to the less loved and ostracised members of the animal community and relish the chance of bringing these into my work - for instance the rats I produced for Operation Jumpsuit were inspired by my own pet rat of the time Glen. The installation 'Libre les Grenouilles' intended to highlight the plight of froggies in the French restaurant trade. Marabou storks are also a particular favourite - I can spend hours watching their antics at the zoo, whilst listening to passers by commenting on their uglyness. In 2010 I created a series of paintings and 3D work based on these studies.  Capturing the essence of these creatures is paramount in each piece I produce.

Painting for me is as important as the actual sculptures themselves - I enjoy working in different media as for me it keeps the work fresh. Sketching and painting allow me a better understanding of form but more importantly I enjoy the freedom paint offers - away from all the technical constraints associated with handbuilding clay.

Each sculpture is completely made and finished by hand, no moulds whatsoever are used. Initially a frame is made to support the clay during the making process,   I then use slab building techniques to create the piece using a smooth black clay which contains a fine grog giving a close texture and a fine surface to the finished sculpture.

Once dry each sculpture is slowly fired to 1100 degrees.  It is then painted by hand using a series of washes to create the desired depth of colour and accuracy essential for commissioned pieces.  First the base or root colour is applied, then while stil wet, further washes of lighter colours are added to form shade and pattern. The final details are then added with finer and more delicate brush work.

As my sculptures have grown in popularity demand has outstripped my capability to keep up and it became apparant I needed to train someone up to take over the finishing side of the sculptures. Luckily my husband who has a degree in ceramics stepped in and is now my full time assistant.

past exhibitions

past exhibitions

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press cuttings

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