I have always found art therapeutic ever since I first enjoyed art groups at the age of 5 years old at Project Art Works, Hastings. I could get lost in the process of artmaking as it made me feel calmer and more focused. In those days everything was a struggle, especially making myself understood because of language difficulties. Pictures have always played an important part in my life.
I needed picture timetables and support with speech and occupational therapy. I received some funding towards therapy from The Caudwell Children’s Charity. I kept in touch with the Charity over the years.
As a 14-year-old I became a volunteer for the National Trust and enjoyed being part of the wildlife team for about 5 years. My artwork designs were used to advertise certain special events. I became a World Heritage Youth Ambassador with my work linking projects on Fountains Abbey, Saltaire and Durham. I met up with other World Heritage Youth Ambassadors from Durham when I had my own art exhibition there called “I’m Starting From Scratch” when I was about 17.
As a student of Bradford School of Art, my final major project was a series of canvases of a cherry tree in blossom.
I developed the project further and was delighted to expand on the idea into 20 canvases for the Charity for their 20th anniversary. I incorporated all sorts of recycled materials supplied by the Caudwell Charity and I lost count how many hours I must have spent on the total project. On average even small canvases take me at least 20 hours from start to finish!
During the unveiling event of my artwork at the premises of The Caudwell Children’s Centre in Staffordshire, I explained that the idea of the cherry tree was to represent hope and a positive future for disabled children.
I have spoken at my exhibitions about my environmental concerns and why I create my form of art:
I have given talks at schools about the ways we should reduce our dependency on single-use products. As an environmental artist I recycle materials into my form of art. One of my roles as a Tree Council ambassador is to speak in schools about trees and how we have to work together to tackle the climate and nature crises. By empowering other young people, I want to make a real impact!
I can illustrate my talks using picture exchange symbols that I have worked on with the Pyramid company in Brighton. It was a special project for The Tree Council:
Here are some of my initial sketches that I did for this project:
I have also enjoyed giving talks and workshops at my own grandmother’s dementia group:
I am creating a piece of artwork to raise money at the Alzheimer’s Society’s Carols at Christmas event in London on 1st December 2022.
I have recently joined the Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce.
I was so surprised and pleased being nominated for this award. If I win I feel it would encourage me to continue my art and fundraising with greater confidence.