The degree at Leeds Polytechnic was a mixed media course (painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, performance art, creative writing and film). My main focus was life study in painting and I also experimented with metalwork (specifically mask making), installations and performance art. Cross fertilisation between other areas of the arts (dance, music, theatre and writing), has always been of huge importance to me and has given me the grounding for the artist I am now.
I am predominantly a painter, and drawing is core to all my work. My solo exhibition of portrait drawings in London in 2014 was inspired by David Hockney’s large-format drawings of Family, Friends and Best Friends, which I saw exhibited at Salts Mill in 1994. It was a series of drawings of friends and family made from life, in a single sitting. In my own series of drawings I was interested in seeing how much I felt and understood the person, and explore how well I knew them. I wanted to try and intensify my vision of them and honestly represent the person in front of me.