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My story

A bit about me

I grew up in a house on a hill overlooking the River Dart in Devon. I loved it when the tide would come up so high the bus couldn't get through to take us to school. I loved it disrupting the norm, it's irreverence for social set ups, and reminder that the wild is where it's really at. At home, my mother would get out the vast rolls of paper and the paints. I would stand on a chair at the kitchen worktop and we would silently paint side by side. Bliss! When the sea came up the estuary as tide, we would both sense its powerful impact upon us. The tide would come in and our spirits would lift. I returned home for a brief spell as an adult, and one day my lover phoned me, and after a few hellos, he said: "The tide's out isn't it; I can hear it in your voice".


Now I live only a few miles away from the sea and I go down most days to make work and swim. I've been dragged out in dangerous currents a few times now, but once I realised it's healing powers and how the year-round swimming cured the migraines I'd had since childhood, I founded a sea swimming group called The Sprats. Hail stinging. Wind howling. Temperatures plummeting. Spirits rising.  


Why water? What draws me close at first, is the magic of its light-filled transparency, then the thrill of getting into a different medium, then for the floating, enveloping, then for the sense of connecting to something maybe sentient maybe sacred, and for a moment at least becoming part of this vast presence, and then, when you get out you feel whole again and loved up and exhilarated.


I'm not sophisticated or socially fluent enough to thrive in the city for long. I need the sanctuary, the peace of nature, and water is the element in the landscape that calls me most powerfully. It aligns me to my being - as if in the communion I am being true to something fundamental. Water prepares me for my practice in the studio. Being in communion with art is also being true. The realm that is my art practice holds the same sacred wild(er)ness that connects me to the same expansive sentience. Water teaches me about art, carrying me beyond my own limited notion of myself. It makes me sound like a kind of pilgrim, and I suppose in a way I am, a pilgrim whose temple or shrine is water.

Water informs my practice about its way - as in the Tao Te Ching:

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself? 

Lao Tzu

(Text sourced from

I used to be a recluse, living in the middle of nowhere, but now, although the village we live in is small, I am happily feeling like we're in the middle of everywhere - not only that, but recently, I co-founded (with the same lover mentioned above) a gallery alongside our studios. Here we have begun to exhibit artworks, not only by us, but by other artists also. We delight in coming up with a central intrigue upon which to curate a show, one that might invite debate and reflection, and we love introducing art-lovers and artists to each other and to the art, and in this small way, we love helping to encourage artists ...and art itself. 

I'm not sure who I am and what my life is about and here I am, clumsily trying to tell you a bit about my story! But, as Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching:

He who defines himself
can't know who he really is.

(Text sourced from

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