About the Artist
“ I try to take photos that make the viewer feel like they were part of the moment it was taken in, and to be immersed in whatever perception of that world the viewer brings with them. We each bring our unique experiences into how we perceive the world, naturally we do the same with art. I’d like my paintings and photography to divert people’s attention from their everyday thoughts and to awaken their imaginations, for people to be able to stop, if only momentarily, and wonder about it. “
My Creative Journey
I am a photographer, painter and teacher.
I started painting towards the end of 2017. Life being what it is, it threw me a few curve balls. I was struggling to manage some difficult things that were going on (Yes – I’m afraid it is the age old cliché of broken and depressed artist finding comfort through art) and I found art to be a great outlet for whatever I was feeling. When I paint or take photos it’s one of the few times I feel completely present, nothing else really matters except colours and textures and composition, and for a time when life was kind of weighing me down, it helped me feel lighter. So, my journey as a painter started from there – I created a little space in my loft, (living with 5 other people + frequent visitors (!), it was nice to have a little haven for myself up there). I put on some music and I just started painting.
I have a background in Graphic Design so I have always had a creative side, but throughout university I envied the design students who worked with their hands and got messy. I always considered that ‘real art’. My fear of not being good enough kept me behind the safety of my laptop, designing everything on Photoshop. I didn’t pursue a career in graphic design because it didn’t give me the freedom of creativity. And after all what is creativity without freedom? I found myself boxed in by designing not for pleasure, but for what someone else wanted. There was no satisfaction in it.
It wasn’t until I became a primary school teacher (a very satisfying job!) that I jumped headfirst into creative projects. Working with children, who are, I believe instinctively creative and imaginative, resurfaced my own desire to learn and experiment more with the arts. Their enthusiasm for it became my own. I was lucky enough to work with other artists on projects for the school which gave me the chance to build my own knowledge and skills of the arts too and helped me realise how therapeutic I found it. So all of this coupled with the timing of stressful circumstances resulted in me beginning my journey as a painter.
I decided after a while to take some time off from teaching to go travelling and give myself more time to build on my art and photography skills and to see where it would take me. I’m lucky enough to say it has taken me all over the world, to corners of the Earth I never imagined I’d visit. My camera is my travel companion; I travel with photography as a focus, chasing the light and being dedicated to capturing the magic of people and places. I’m outdoors a lot, hiking some beautiful trails, I find being outdoors and in nature is good for the soul – which helps with taking photographs that have a positive effect on the viewer. If I feel calm and at peace, I think that’s reflected in the photos I take and hopefully subsequently on to the people who look at them.
I try to convey the essence and character of the places and the people I meet through my photography. It is often just a fleeting moment, a certain look in the eye, or a suppressed smile that catches that magic moment, for a perfect portrait. A moment of perfect light can change the ambiance of a location within seconds and bring out its spirit. These precious moments come and go quickly, so to capture and relive them through a photograph is a very special thing. I try to take photos that make the viewer feel like they were part of the moment it was taken in, and to be immersed in whatever perception of that world the viewer brings with them. I’d like those who see my work to feel the inspiration behind my photography, to feel the connection I had with the person or the place and to see beauty in unexpected places.
Painting gives me the opportunity to slow down and block out the chaos of the world. The inspiration for my paintings comes in various forms; nature, the people I meet, the places I’ve visited, and sometimes it is simply down to the music I’m listening to, hence the ‘Listening to Ray’ series, or a seemingly insignificant object someone special gives me – ‘Seashells’ series. I paint what I feel instinctively in the moment, responding to the object of my inspiration. We each bring our unique experiences into how we perceive the world, naturally we do the same with art. I’d like my paintings to divert people’s attention from their everyday thoughts and to awaken their imaginations, for people to be able to stop, if only momentarily, and wonder about it.
Below is a short video about my creative journey on a photography trip to Pakistan.