I will be holding my first solo exhibition in The Meeting Room Gallery at South Square from 2nd – 28th July 2011.

In Pink 1

Normal opening hours are 12-3pm Tues-Sun, but please check with the gallery before you visit – 01274 834747

I work from family photographs, asking questions about photography and its role in capturing the ‘truth’ of our past.  I’m curious as to why we take snapshots, particularly of children, and use painting to visually explore this.  I work intuitively, often leaving out detail.  I’m interested in how this leaves ambiguity for the viewer to project their own families, memories and stories onto the paintings.  For this exhibition I have created small panels, perhaps reminiscent of the tradition of painted miniatures which preceded photography. The images, developed from mundane family snapshots, explore questions of surveillance, child development, and identity.

The show is up!

We got our ‘Have you seen my Childhood?’ art exhibition up today, and it is looking great.  If you are wondering what to do in Hebden Bridge this month, come and take a look. We open this Sunday for a preview from 2-4pm, and then the exhibition will be open from 9th Feb to 6th March 2011, Wed-Sun 11-4pm at Artsmill in Hebden Bridge (free entry).  Here’s a sneak preview of the show! 
Preview of the show
If you are looking for other things to do while you are in Hebden Bridge, take a look at these websites which list what’s on in and around Hebden Bridge:-




Creative Calderdale

Collage and Transfer

Collage and transfer

Collage and transfer

 This is an image from a workshop I did with the wonderful Kate Boyce at Northlight Art Studios.  We spent the day learning how to layer collage, paint and image transfers using a range of techniques.  After months of painting and intensive research for my BA course, it was wonderful to just play again!  I’m wondering about using this technique to incorporate written memoir and other ephemera to do with memory.

LiteracyHead – online literacy education magazine

LiteracyHead is a new online magazine providing resources for literacy educators.  According to their website “A Literacyhead is someone who is intensely serious about exercising creative literacy, making connections across multiple literacies, pursuing thoughtful literacy as an individual and as a teacher, and constantly searching for ideas. Literacyheads may have expertise in different areas of literacy, but all are committed to children’s literacy, passionate about the arts, incessant thinkers, and display a propensity for having fun.”  On this site, creative literacy is not just about words, but also about visual literacy – the art of reading pictures. 

I was lucky enough to be approached by them, and asked to collaborate on an article in their magazine, and the article about my work is in the current issue.


There are now thirteen of these paintings.  I’ve worked further into some of them to iron out things that have irritated me, but am now going to leave them alone.  It really is one of the hardest decisions to know when something is finished. 

Roundabout painting
‘Roundabout’, Oil on paper, 5″ x 5″

 The other thing that these paintings have made me think about is working in series.  When you present a series of works to a viewer, how much time do you want or expect them to spend looking at each individual painting?  And how much of the meaning comes from them making connections between the paintings, and responding to a mood that gets built up by looking at them as a set?  These questions may consciously or subconsciously influence my decisions about the level of finish or clarity that I give each individual painting.  If I’m viewing them as a group, then I must expect the viewer to as well.  And this will influence my decisions about how I hang them.  Do I create a cluster of them, or do I space them out with plenty room around each one?   This will also depend upon the space that I manage to get for my final show.


Dad's guitar

Dad's guitar

 Oil on paper 5″ x 7″

Another work in progress.  I’ve reached the point after a long period of not knowing what to do with these where I now want to work on them again.  I’ve been struggling with the balance between retaining the immediacy of my initial painted response to the photograph, and working it up into a more realised image.  After a period of looking at these on the studio wall, I realised than I do want to work them up a bit more.  I now have my work cut out to do this in time for them to dry before the show!

‘In the middle’

'In the middle'
‘In the middle’

Oil on paper, image size 5″ x 5″

This is one of the series I am working on of small paintings on paper.  None of them are drying at the moment, as the temperature in the studio barely seems to rise above freezing.  By painting on paper, and hanging it by means of a small clip, I’m asking questions about the ‘preciousness’ of oil painting.  Instead, I hope to evoke the ‘preciousness’ of the family snapshot as an artifact that is handled repeatedly.  I’m also hoping to draw attention to painting as a process of investigation, rather than as a method of commodity production.