Over the past 8 years I have facilitated learning through Art in some of the best creative institutions in the north such as The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Tetley Gallery and the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at the University of Leeds.
I have coached and trained new artists working in education with a focus on responding instead of reacting to situations and how to be fully present with your audience. I have provided creativity based CPD courses for teachers, created new art curriculums and designed studio spaces for primary schools. I have also taken peoples visions and children’s drawings and turned them into murals for school, home and dance studio walls.
I was not a ‘naturally talented’ artist – all of my skills were developed through hard work, dedication and practice – I often tell children that if I have been able to learn to draw – anyone can! I became an artist because of my Grandfather – he was a photorealist painter and he died when I was 10 and left a huge hole in my heart. I wanted to emulate him and to carry on his dream of being an artist. One of his paintings sits in pride of place in my studio and although our styles are completely different its nice knowing how much he inspired me and my life today.
My clients tell me that my expertise lies in providing them with my own stories of struggling to learn and my empathic nature encourages experimentation and play. As with life – we tend to make our mistakes first – it is only by putting the line in the wrong place that we discover where the line should truly live. This way of working often gives people the encouragement and confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zones and discover their own unique and hidden talents.
I completed my Master of Arts by Research in 2012 at Manchester Metropolitan University – it was an autoethnographic enquiry into how I had managed to get a first class degree and a teaching qualification – both specialised in Art – without being able to draw – (I was a sculptor – creating body casts and teaching sculpture and 3d modes of art – and I was VERY good at hiding my shameful secret!) – however in 2010 I decided to bite the bullet, swallow my insecurities and go back to school – it was through taking my I AM story (a performance monologue/ personal narrative of my struggles throughout my education – about the challenges I had faced during my own learning journey that enabled me to be such a passionate advocate for everyone just ‘having a go’ that have lead me to where I am today. If I could learn to draw – anyone can – and when I tell 8 year old children who are anxious and upset because they cannot draw that I did not learn until I was in my 20’s – it is my story and my struggle that makes me the teacher that I am today. I have been there and I can relate.
MA By Research 2010 – 2012 – MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design), Manchester Metropolitan University
PGCE (QTLS) Art and Design 2009 – 2010 – University of Huddersfield
BA (Hons) Contemporary Art Practice International (Class 1) 2004 – 2008 – University of Leeds with International placement at York University, Toronto, Canada
Performing the I AM Story as a Tool for Empowerment: In Order to Make a Difference! In Towards Creative Action: Transformations and Collaborations in Practice, CARN Bulletin 17, Spring 2014
▪ This Is Another Place: An Autoethnographic Tale about Annie and The Artworks in Qualitative Inquiry 19:5, Sage Publishing June 2013
▪ The A/r/tographer: An Image and a Poem in Arts Based Research, Special Edition: A/r/tography 38:2 University of Illinois Press Winter 2012
- Creating and crossing boundaries: Recycling and removing patterns of behaviour AT – Thresholds: The Adjacent Possible, The Tapestry, Liverpool’s Fabric District, 68-76 Kempston St, L3 8HL – February 2018 as part of the Not Just Collective, 2018
▪ The Cefn Mawr Collection: A series of images commissioned by the Plas Kynaston Canal and Railway Group and displayed in the Holly Bush Inn, 2016
▪ The I AM story: An Autoethnograpic Account of an engagement with Art Education at CARN International Conference, Vienna, 2011
▪ Tell Me Something About Your First Love at various locations including University of Huddersfield, 2011 and a wedding as part of the Black Dogs Collective.
▪ Hotch Potch Hit Man Haggling Ego Trip at Leeds Light Night 2008
▪ An Intimate Distance (Detail) at Leeds Central Library, 2008
▪ Follow at The Carriageworks Theatre as part of Leeds Light Night 2007