A lifetime in creative art
I use a lot of different printmaking processes and delight in the possibilities and moments of real surprise you get with hands-on printmaking. A recurring theme is the use of materials gathered from the environment in the creative process.
Over the years I have produced collections inspired by Devon Hedgerows, the Princesshay Rooftop Bees, and the RSPB’s Cirl Bunting Project. Other projects have included collaborations between the Devon Wildlife Trust and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen (now called Make Southwest) – such as The Greater Horseshoe Bat Project and the Magnificent Mires (Dartmoor blanket bogs). I find that I return to these themes on a random cyclic basis, and in the end they all interconnect with the desire to focus on the easily overlooked bugs and weeds (being the foundation of all ecosystems) forming a thread through all I do. Indeed since the pandemic my focus has been getting even closer to home by valuing what can be found in my eco-friendly garden.
1997 to present – Co-founder Double Elephant Print Workshop, tutor & workshop manager.
2007 to 2021 – Member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
1993 -1996 – Fine art BA University of Plymouth.
1980 -1982 – trained in Conservation of Prints and Drawings.
My original training in the 1980s was in conservation of prints and drawings and gave a solid foundation in the traditional techniques of the ‘old masters’ and an appreciation of quality materials. Although it was a thrill to handle genuine Rembrandt prints at the British Museum and I was good at “touching-up old masters”, this wasn’t what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. I needed to be doing something more creative.
After a while working in animation and a trip around Africa, I went back to college to study Fine Art and found myself gravitating towards printmaking again. On graduating I was very fortunate to be in a position to set up a print workshop in Exeter with Simon Ripley. Double Elephant Print Workshop now has 9 voluntary directors, approximately 110 members, a full range of courses and a bank of portable printing presses that get taken to schools and community groups so that printmaking can reach more people. I also undertake editioning work for other artists and I’m available for occasional mentoring sessions.