At the time that I applied to Middlesex University’s Fine Art course, it had gained a tremendous reputation from its former Hornsey Art school, with artists like David Hockney , Allen Jones and Anish Kapoor, just a few of the very talented students that had been educated on Fine Art courses in London. I very much wanted to go to a place in London having finished my education at Epsom school of Art and Design, to be able to use all the art galleries, museums and live life to the full in the City.
I was attracted to the fact that it was more flexible than most. As I remember, you didn’t have to specify if you wanted to do painting, sculpture, printmaking etc. there would be the possibility of trying and enjoying them all. I also liked the fact that it was more practical rather than the traditional theoretical and more academic style of course, which would leave me room to experiment more with the Fine Art direction I wanted to explore.
The first break in the industry was presented to me through a Swiss Architect called Christian Laing. He requested for me to do some art design work for a project he was working on with the Swiss Company Davidoff in Basel. It was a private commission to a bathroom with a ceiling painting and stained glass project. I came up with a handful of watercolour sketch ideas etc. and the client loved them all. I travelled on numerous occasions to Switzerland to complete the work with the architect and his team. It was the most amazing opportunity that I had ever experienced and it really opened doors for me to get involved in a number of other great exhibitions, projects and relationships with the industry.
I chose the Arts as it was an exciting, colourful and interesting place to work, even though it’s highly competitive and full of challenges. I seemed to thrive on the opportunity and loved the weird and wonderful lifestyle it presented. Its cons are that it’s a fluctuating market place but the attraction of culturally working abroad was a large appeal.
The most effective ways of enhancing my professional profile are through websites, word of mouth and keeping all avenues open, because as one door opens another one often closes. I have won an “International networking award” from the arts council, amongst many other awards, I am extremely sociable and know what I want in regards to my profession, and I just go for it!
A typical day involves an early rise, checking my emails and then getting off to work with a company called Dimensions UK that’s supports adults with a learning disability in the community. The activities the adults can do at a local day centre include art, crafts, pottery, drama, and music. It’s a very rewarding job and enables me to engage with people doing an activity I enjoy, and wonderful to see clients fulfil their dreams and aspirations based in the heart of the community.
Upon my return home I will continue with the latest project which is currently the Geneva exhibition with an Arts group called Swiss Artists UK. This project enabled me to be involved in an International exhibition at the Chateau de Penthes, the other side of the United Nations in Geneva. I worked to Commission the project entitled “Memories” and worked on a series of black and white pastel themed pieces.
My proudest moment to date is the memories of the exhibition opening in Geneva when the opportunity came to promote my work and myself whilst remaining part of a team on camera plus being able to exhibit alongside some of the most outstanding Rembrandt etchings I had ever seen.
For me the most important aspect of this was receiving the most wonderful feedback from Rudolf Wyder, former Director of The Swiss Abroad. His vision, understanding and wisdom were an enormous reward to me..