I’ve had a lot of really inspiring people in my life. Teachers, friends, mentors, bosses, family members and of course, my lovely husband. They have all been a part of the sum that has made me who I am today and for that, I am grateful.
In both the visual and performing arts, many of those teachers have also been my friends and I would like to honour them by being the best that I can be.
When I was about 23 years old, I managed to find the money to attend two terms of adult education and re-discovered my love of pottery under the guidance of a fabulous ceramicist named William Oakins and produced some really exciting work. Sadly, an attempt to do the same locally a few years ago was doomed to failure as I had been forgotten about by the college admin staff!
At around about the same time, a wonderful artist called Maureen Howard took me under her wing and made me a part of her family and tried to get me to create art again. I wasn’t really in the right place at the time but I did get back into knitting thanks to her.
There was a long gap then although my friends encouraged and supported me when I eventually started to paint and then a couple of years ago, I joined a local theatre group. There I have had the pleasure of sharing a stage with and learning from some wonderfully talented people such as Cheryl, Hazel, Glynne, Dave, Vic, Chanelle and others who give me advice, make helpful suggestions, offer constructive criticism and just generally support one another – including me. One of the things that I love about the group is that it is so welcoming and even when I first joined, I was treated as part of the family.
More recently, I began working with Annie Thomas whose work I adore. Sadly, we don’t work together anymore but we have remained friends and I purchased a couple of pieces last year and they have pride of place in their rooms. Anne gently points out when I’m being a total idiot and has been a great source of strength and support in the last couple of years.
The turbulent journey through the Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media has been under the care of the wonderful Hazel Terry who has helped me to grow and become an artist. She has been supportive, critical and informative as appropriate and helped me to understand my own creative process and develop my technical skills, knowledge and confidence.
My latest teacher in the visual arts (more specifically, textiles) is my Panto mummy who has also been a great teacher in the performing arts. Under her guidance, I made a lovely raggy quilt for an imminent new arrival on the Earth (and I don’t mean Aliens!):
I realize that it will be a long time before I am as adept as she at something as simple as a raggy quilt but what an absolute joy it was to spend the time learning from her.