I am currently a practicing artist living in Dovercourt. I previously taught in London and was a self employed supply teacher locally, mainly teaching at the Harwich School. I studied Fine Art at Camberwell and Education, Art and Design at Goldsmiths in London. I also studied Computer Aided Visualisation at the Anglia Polytechnic University and Art Therapy at the Institute for Art in Therapy and Education. Unable to work outside of the home due to disablility both mental and physical, I now focus on my multi-disciplinary art practice full time.
My work has always been inspired by Carl Jung and exploring my own unconscious. Through assemblage and installation I have recently discovered I can work as a sandplay therapist would work but on a larger scale. To explain how Sandplay works, briefly I have copied the following from the internet:-
'Sandplay is a process of creative expression using trays of sand and miniature objects to create the many worlds of your inner reality. The sandtray act as mirrors in which you can see and heal the burdens, issues and conflicts of your inner life, connect to the longings of your soul, and see the beauty and power of your true self.
Sandplay therapy is a recognized therapeutic modality for both children and adults, based on the psychology of C.G. Jung and developed by the Swiss psychotherapist and teacher Dora Kalff. It is particularly useful for identifying and reconciling internal conflicts that manifest as anxiety and depression, as well as penetrating the depths of personality to experience the Self directly.
Clients place miniature figurines in a small sandbox to express confusing feelings and inner experiences. This creates a visual representation of the psyche’s contents and reveals unconscious concerns that are inaccessible any other way. As materials contained in the unconscious emerges visually and symbolically, it is integrated into a person’s sense of self and can be activated to elicit behavioral change. The effectiveness of sandplay therapy comes with an understanding of Jungian psychology, as well as the archetypal and personal symbolism that appear in the sand. Knowledge of symbolic language creates a foundation not only for sandplay therapy, but also for dream analysis and all non-verbal therapies involving art and play. It provides a way for material from the unconscious to become visible, healed, and integrated into the consciousness, thus allowing life to be lived in a more conscious and authentic way.'
My interest in Carl Jung and my training in Art Psychotherapy has given me an understanding that enables me to use art to gain access to my unconscious. As in the last paragraph I wish to live life in a more conscious and authentic way, as well as producing meaningful and evocative work. In my work I play both therapist and client. I am very much an introvert but my interest in understanding my psyche I hope will lead to an understanding of others. It is a spiritual journey that I believe Carl Jung ventured on in a similar way. In the first paragraph regarding sandplay the author writes of connecting to our soul and seeing the beauty and power of your true self. I believe I am in search of this through my art. This is within each individual and if I can find it, I can share it. When I view other artists' work I can often sense how powerful and soulful it is.
Marcel Duchamp and also Joseph Cornell have lately inspired my work. I think this is apparent in my 'assemblage work'. Joseph Cornell used many boxes, with which I am also fascinated with, my box collection is growing rapidly. Like Duchamp I often wish to work on a larger scale. Unfortunately, practical issues dictate what I can produce but recently I have found that disassembled furniture is suiting my purposes, as in a dolls house made from a bureau that I am currently working on. I collect different pieces that I may find anywhere, from, the beach to antique shops. Chosen items are place into the house in a particular place. These items will be rearranged once I have disassembled my installation. The dolls house will be photographed daily as a journal and record of my mood changes. As well as life events affecting my moods. I also suffer from bi-polar disorder and hope that this will prove to be an informative and therapeutic piece of work. Books will be created using the photos but as yet am not sure what length the books will be or how many of them. The changes may sometimes be more substantial as with a full scale house ie. interior or exterior decorating or architectural modifications.
At present within my installation is a collection of items where the viewers are invited to take some items and place them in the dolls house, remove others and rearrange it if they choose to. This may be a more powerful act than anticipated by the viewers I love the idea of interactive art and encourage people to touch and explore my art rather than just look at it.
I am also working on an assemblage piece using old family photographs. The starting point was an altered book but has grown using many items. The piece is colour gold. There is also a memorial in my garden that I created for my grandson who died recently. It also contains family photos that are to lend a sense of belonging. Perhaps this is also why I have created a similar piece for myself.
This is where my art is at currently but it does change frequently. I love to explore different mediums on a regular basis and describe myself as an experimental artist. I work mainly in an intuitive way as obviously planning excessively can interrupt my thoughts and be at odds with my intention of working with my unconscious.
I believe art is all about 'Speaking to the soul' and if I can do that just a little then I have succeeded in some way.