An inclination to Art..
I gravitated to art in school and I loved reading History. Until my school art teacher told my folks that everything we see around us that we use in our everyday lives had to be conceived, designed, manufactured and marketed; art looked like a career offering no more than just painting pretty pictures, and of concern.
A careers interview at Trinity House in Hanley pointed me to Newcastle-Under-Lyme college and to ‘A’ level art, and onto a B/Tec Design course to follow. I loved it at NULC!! . The lecturers were passionate to the core, and that ignited me; my portfolio shaped up to bounce through the doors of Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham. I studied Furniture & Product Design on a Degree sandwich course intended to place us directly into industry. I loved the projects which were challenging but the loose structuring of the course tested my discipline! I was placed into the drawing office of an engineering firm which manufactured robotic measuring instruments which was dull as ditchwater. I wanted to draw, I wanted to experiment creatively…
I basically got my degree producing a fine art degree show where there should have been rigid technical drawings. I love to generate ideas, I love a loose visceral style… I want to produce excitement in my artworks. There are no hidden agendas in my work and there are no great lengths of writing to read to get it!
People look at my work and say ‘that’s me in that picture, in the place I grew up’ or ‘I remember when it was like that’ – I draw on my original photographs of this unchanged city and there is still plenty of it, reference it’s context from old maps and relish in descriptions of life from people who were in the thick of the industries, family stories.
I don’t produce work to meet a market demographic that sells, I paint and draw what I’m interested in and people come to it – when people get sick of history, and tired of Stoke-On-Trent I’ll just be painting away and I’ll end up with pile of work up to the ceiling. It excites and delights that Stokies always have their heart in Stoke – my work is on walls in offices in Dubai, homes in Australia, up in the Western Isles and Honolulu!!
Stokies always take a piece of home away with them… I’ve walked and re-walked every inch of this city and there is new inspiration every time I do so – It’s all out there like a deep well of inspiration – I’ll always walk this city, that’s where my Art is…
As I’ve noted, Stoke-On-Trent is my creative epicenter – it has a thousand year history of creativity – There’s a cultural revival rooted to the past and It’s fantastic to see all that is going on – the City of Culture sent it fever pitch and even though we didn’t get the title the feeling is till reverberating around the city.
An inclination to Art..