I studied Fine Art at Brighton University but, instead of painting, I spent most of my time gatecrashing lectures by Professor Michael Tucker on shamanism, tribal culture, jazz and, notably, the work of Sir Alan Davie. I would walk into a dark lecture theatre and all you could hear was the sound of tribal music and drumming, it was a truly defining moment for me and set me on a course that I still follow today.
I then travelled to India for 3 months and then 98 was accepted into the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The sound of drums was replaced with a ticking clock and the scratching of pencils in the old life drawing-room. I trained with Norman Ackroyd, Lawrence Jenkins, Norman Adams, Jennifer Durrant, Burt Irwin, Maurice Cockrill and Sonia Lawson amongst others. I won the Landseer Travel prize on graduation. I sold out on my final show and travelled to Montana for 13 months where I lived and worked with the Lakota Sioux on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. I worked with medicine men, took part in sacred sweat lodge ceremonies and was also Professor Webb at Rocky Mountain College for a while, where I taught art.
That journey shifted all my perspectives forever and this took many years to cook and ripen but eventually, a new authenticity in my creativity and voice resulted in works with a heart-centred and spiritual element. I also learned Reiki.
The beautiful sound of Sanskrit chanting and Kirtan devotional music whilst I paint has cultivated a flow of artistic freedom, colourful modern mandala designs and oil paintings with reflective particles.
I have had various awards including 'The Sanderson Family' ‘Artist in Industry’ grant, which substantially reinforced ideas about how artists could work with British manufacturing in particular textiles outside of mainstream galleries. This has led to an experimental pop-up on the high street in the heart of Arundel, West Sussex which was made possible with seed funding from former BBC dragon James Caan.
In June 2019, a second pop up was opened on the prominent South Street in Chichester where I had 900 customers in just 15 days. There was an overwhelming demand for the designs to be manufactured onto affordable products and so I have combined this with my fine art.
My inward and expanding study of Buddhist teachings, meditation and mindfulness techniques have transformed the work and art-making process.
Creativity is simply a 'tool' in which to connect and by allowing ourselves the internal pilgrimage we allow the transformative experience to happen. I believe everyone has access to it and everyone is creative.