I WOULD like to tell you a little tale of my beginnings ... because I was brought into this world 28 years ago by two wonderful artists, who have passed very valuable things onto me. Not only do I have their eyes for looking at things and their art in my blood, I have seen through them that it is necessary and possible to make one's own work and a living at it. I know that I am lucky indeed to have a rich childhood treasure chest in my head to draw upon: of being surrounded by sculpture and art, of interesting places, of Bedford van travels across Europe, of strange bedtime stories, and of being a little different from everyone else.
My parents continue to make their art in their home, and have recently dipped their toes into this strange 21st century web world ... with a website, etsy shop and blog where you'll see delights indeed. To celebrate this, I thought I would show you some of their wonderful works and give you an idea of the inspiring household in which I grew up... with these creations on every windowsill, stair and shelf.
My parents met in the 1970s in the plaster room of City & Guilds of London Art School where my mum was studying sculpture and my dad teaching it...
My mum grew up in the wilds of New Zealand and finds much of her inspiration in memories of those hills and the nature there... She trained as a nurse before travelling through many countries to finally arrive in the UK to study sculpture, a discipline that was long bubbling in her, even as a child scraping clay from the riverbed to make forms... an example of this on the right, a young horse laying on its side, which she made when she was only 9.
My dad was born in South London 10 years before the second world war, and on being asked what he would like to do when he grew up, would answer: "either a fighter pilot, a priest or an artist!" This last choice seems to have endured all his life, with a particular focus on his love for woodcarving. He has made a great variety of works in stone, wood and clay over the years, making figures for churches, architectural stone carvings, lettering, and a great body of his own work, in varying styles.
I remember vividly the curls of wood on the floor of the workshop when I was small, and the smell of resin, and learned at a young age about the progression of a piece of art from its beginnings as a piece of wood, through many stages, agonies and hoorays to the final work.
From my mum amongst many many other things, I have inherited a sense of colour, design and form, and a fascination with people. My dad has passed on to me, amongst many many other things, a love of the medieval, words, wooden things and wonkiness.
And I know that I am privileged to have such masters of the field as critics and encouragers... and I would like to thank them for always inspiring me, for this art in my blood and for truly knowing me. I hope that I can create works as beautiful as these one day.
Please welcome them and spread the word of their masterpieces...
The images on the left are my dad's work and on the right, my mum's.