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 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 8 voluntary directors, approximately 90 members, loads of courses and a bank of portable printing presses that get taken to schools and community groups so that printmaking can reach more people.
Once Double Elephant became more established I was able to put more of my energies into my own artwork. Through my artwork I look to say something about the environment - explore how we interact, use, abuse and collaborate with the natural world around us. This has taken me to interact with specific sites such as a regenerated landfill site and increasingly to focus on the small ubiquitous and often reviled weeds and bugs that form the foundation and engine-room of ecosystems.
Much of my current practice involves ongoing studies of Devon Hedgerows. (Devon has more hedgerows than any other county in the UK, supporting over 600 plant species, 1,500 insects, 65 birds and 20 mammals). I have also been studying the rooftop bees in Princesshay, Exeter. Urban bees have a vital role to play in local pollination. It’s been a fascinating experience visiting the rooftop bees. The contrast between the modern architectural spaces and the cottage garden style raised beds and beehives are striking.
I use a wide range of printmaking techniques – both traditional and innovative, often creating complex one off prints using collagraph, drypoint and mono print techniques, using plants either foraged from hedgerows or which I cultivate for the purpose. I make a point of using high quality, archival materials in my all artwork.
In addition to creating my own artwork and teaching workshops and courses at Double Elephant. I also undertake editioning work for other artists and I’m available for occasional mentoring sessions.
2007 to present - Member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
1997 to present - Co-founder Double Elephant Print Workshop & workshop manager.
1993 -1996 - Fine art BA University of Plymouth.
1980 -1982 - trained in Conservation of Prints and Drawings.