25 August 2021
Featured in Deptford X: 2021
What was your project at the Deptford X Festival?
The Outside May Be Inside – installed as window art at Deptford Does Art
Describe your studio or workspace.
I am lucky to share a studio at Second Floor Studios & Arts in Deptford Foundry on Arklow Road. It’s between New Cross and Deptford stations but I can walk there from my home in Lewisham.
What is inspiring you at the moment?
I’m always inspired by materials and making things but also by my social history (I’m from a northern working class community) and how this background (and that of deprived communities generally) rub up against affluent, aspirational values driven by consumer capitalism. Most apparent in the city of London….twinkling away across the river from my home turf of south London.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I’ve just been in isolation due to a sick family member but I usually work in the studio 3 -sometimes 4 days a week. I earn a modest income outside of my art practice. One of those days generally involves a visit to one of my peers in the studios or perhaps a joint visit to an exhibition of some sort.
If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?
I’d have to call it – Why would the Tate want me to do that?
It would definitely have to be an installation or projection which concerned my family background….the debt I owe my grandmother ( a coal miner’s wife) for all the creative stuff she spent time teaching me and my sister when she was babysitting us at her kitchen table.
I have spent my life challenging expectations of me. My working class family were surprised, and worried, when I said I wanted to go to art college. I studied fashion at a polytechnic (now a university) instead of fine art. I had to do something practical – in order to have a career, get a salary. My dad didn’t have the means to help me out financially.
I am always surprised by my smallest unexpected success. I’m working class – there aren’t any working class artists are there? Plus I’m an older artist, even though I only graduated with my masters in 2018. It’s an under represented demographic. Everyone wants to promote the next young, hot talent. You need money, and connections, to work in the art world but I won’t give up. I was pragmatic, I returned to study a masters in fine art in my 50’s, when I could afford to take the hit to my income.
Plug your next show/event! Or what words of support or encouragement would you like to share with your fellow artists?
Next show – Ive been selected for the Society of Women Artists Open in September 2021. Online only. Physical show – Open Studios (covid dependent) in Deptford Foundry site of Second Floor Studios. September 18-19th.
Advice – never too late, and believe in your own talent. As Oscar Wilde said “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.