My work is inspired by urban street art and graffiti writing. When not in the studio I am often exploring the back alleys of foreign cities, photographing street art, peeling post-ups and graffiti tags and recording these ephemeral art forms for posterity. I love to discover and retell stories about people’s lives and cultures, about immigration, city decay and regeneration. London, Rome, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Berlin in particular have been rich sources of visual and cultural inspiration.
In my stitched photographic collages and mixed media art I explore how language, fading memories and fractured communication affects our understanding and acceptance of others whose lives are different to ours or with whom we find ourselves in conflict. Much of my work deals with transition, loss and rediscovery, boundaries and juxtaposition both visual and cultural.
I like to play with conflict – between the norms in different societies, between the then and now of changing cities, between soft textiles and harsh urban street art and to look for the ‘place between’ – the place where accommodation, resolution and understanding can be found.
Often the graffiti on my art is an expression of personal thoughts or interests which, as they become fragmented, become illegible and so open to reinterpretation by the viewer. Just as street art changes with the elements and cities appear different over time, my art may look different when viewed from your alternative perspective.
I work from my studio in St.Helens Merseyside, UK.
I am represented by Dot Art Liverpool and Levantine Gallery, Jerusalem.
I am also a coach. Coaching was the catalyst that enabled me to take my art from wanna-be hobbies level to having solo shows in galleries, participating in International group shows and even selling work from a gallery in Jerusalem. It taught me how to shatter the beliefs and fears that limited me and how to take action to exceed my original ambitions to fulfilment. Later, when I hit a period of illness, working side by side with a coach enabled me to look afresh at my core values and passions and take action to move my life into a different, more fulfilling direction.
One of those passions is passing on the magic of coaching. I decided to train formally with The Coaching Academy and now I delight in watching my coachees blossom and take steps towards their dream. I get great joy from seeing them declutter their lives of the thoughts and habits that are no longer serving them and begin to live their best lives. There is not much better than seeing someone move from “I wish’, through ” I believe I can” to “I did it”.
My chosen charity: SFAC
I am blessed that my current day job meets my financial needs. This frees me to coach and make art to support a charity that is close to my heart. SFAC are passionate about ensuring that children around the world get to live with safe families rather than in institutions. They work with agencies from tiny NGOs in rural Zimbabwe and Uganda, to the governments of Sri Lanka and Brazil (and many others in between!). Their aim is to ensure that everyone providing care for vulnerable children can access training and professional support that is accessible, adaptable and applicable to their own culture and context. They work closely with their partners to help them set up and implement systems and procedures appropriate to their organisation to allow them to provide the best possible care for the children they work with.
They are a small but dedicated and highly active group of people whom I have been pleased to get to know personally. Buying my art or having coaching with me enables a ripple effect in which tangible benefits flow from our partnership through adult workers and trainers right down to children all over the world.
You can read the story of how Mick Pease set up SFAC and the incredible work they do in his recent book Children belong in Families: A Story of Global Change.