Over the years I have been greatly supported and believed in by my wonderful family, friends and many colleagues, without this encouragement I am sure that my journey would not have been such an exciting and enjoyable one.
I was very thankful for The Brian Mercer scholarship which was given through the Royal British Society of Sculptors, which enabled me to carry out a three-month residency at Studio Sem in Pietrasanta, Italy.
The theme and source of my inspiration for the work I created in Italy was derived from ‘drapery’. The idea of creating fluidity and delicateness in a solid and dense material really fascinated me. Working with a variety of processes to create my form, I then heavily carved into it to achieve the illusion of lightness, playfully working with light to enhance this notion.
During my residency at Studio Sem, I obtained an enormous amount of invaluable knowledge in working with stone and on a personal level I gained so much insight and increased awareness. Three months of being a part of such a hardworking, dedicated, inspiring, creative, joyful group of people were not only delightful, but it was also a very memorable and productive experience which has had a great impact on my artistic working practice.
The experience has definitely impacted my working methods and the constraints and restrictions of the new tools and materials have reinforced and refreshed my working strategies and enabled me to arrive at new possibilities and solutions.
It has been very helpful to receive support through funding from the Art Council and the Craft Council over the years which has helped with projects, exhibitions and equipment.
I would like to thank 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, especially Dominic Mason for his guidance throughout the project ‘Dream Made Manifest’ and the rest of the team for their much-appreciated support, and the opportunity to work within such a wonderful environment. The exhibition toured 9 venues over a four-year period.
Thanks to John Hardwich for his invaluable experience in editing the texts for the ‘Dream Made Manifest’ publication, all the writers for their contributions and support, Jean Vacher for her support of the project from the outset, and Helen Joseph for her belief and recognition from an early stage in my career, Alan Grieve for his continued encouragement and patronage, Peter Randall-Page for his kind advice and for giving me the opportunity to work at his studios and for the kind loan of his materials and tools, Oliver Ulmer for taking time out of his busy schedule to write and Andrew Lambirth and Edmund de Waal for their wonderful essays. Martin Brotherich at Hanson's, Accrington Bricks for allowing me the use of their materials and facilities.
I would like to thank Paul Heaton sincerely and the whole of his team at Reform Creative for their inspiring work over the years and for producing such wonderful publications.
Thank you to Emmanuel Cooper and Jonathan Harris for their contributions to the publication of ‘Carved Earth’. As well as Bolton Museum & Art Gallery for touring the show, the exhibition toured 11 venues over a three-year period.
A big thank you to all the photographers, especially Jonathan Keenan, who I’ve worked with over the years on different projects and shooting sessions.