Central Saint Martins baby

CSMEver since graduating from the Art Academy, London in 2013 I’ve contemplated undertaking a Masters qualification and since then I’ve looked at a number of the better known art schools and visited shows and open days and so on – trying to get a feel for the establishments, what kind of artists go there and (the big question) would I fit?

Practising artists who I respect and who are progressing well with their careers have consistently mentioned how important an MA can be – I think that it comes down to a number of factors that a top art school can offer including increased visibility and connections.  From my perspective I am keen to investigate more fully the art context of which I am part but also to more fully define my own languages and intent – to dig deeper, make better work with a peer network that will elevate me to new heights.

The break through in my research came when I went to the Central Saint Martins (part of University of Arts London) Graduate Show.  I was totally blown away by it – the scale and ambition of much of the work, the fact that there was lots of sculpture and that it all felt very ‘now’, really exciting… (btw – I already had an affection for the place having done a short course on fabricating steel sculpture there – see earlier post).

At the show I noticed that CSM offered something I had not heard of before – an MA in Art and Science.  It was impossible to tell the work of these artists from the regular MA Fine Art ones but what really interested me were their lines of enquiry.  The ‘Science’ related artists had artists’ statements which resonated with me and areas of interest which being science related are more tangible.

My first degree was in Psychology and my art is often an exploration of the conflicts between the conscious and unconscious mind – it seems odd but I had never made the connection before, in anything other than a superfluous way.  Discovering this course was pretty much a ‘Eureka’ moment for me and as I began to join the dots, it became more and more compelling.  It represents a real opportunity to explore my art practice with scientific reference.

Reading the website descriptions, case studies and details just served to heighten my resolve.  The only issue was that  I had totally missed the deadline for applications(!)  I decided to contact the course leader, Nathan Cohen, directly and to arrange a meeting with him – to investigate my suitability and to discuss the possibility of joining next year…


Much to my surprise Nathan was able to see me within a few days and at that meeting he offered to consider me for this year’s intake if I got my application in quickly!!  Suffice to say, that’s what I did and then following a formal interview, much to my relief and excitement I was offered a place.

The course is full time over two years (2016 to 2018) and I will keep you posted on my progress via my blog.  I certainly can’t wait to see where my journey will take me – it feels as if my life has come full circle, being able to dip back into the fascinating world of cognitive psychology.

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New Sculpture for St Ives, Cornwall

mayorIf you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember that in 2014 I had the honour of installing a Memorial sculpture ‘Free Spirit’ in the heart of St Ives, Cornwall.  It was unveiled with a flourish by the Mayor (I did a post on this at the time, if you are interested).

I was so delighted to be asked to undertake a second sculpture for the same development (St Nicholas Court, Porthmeor Road) as this was for me a massive endorsement of my work – after all the residents had lived with my first sculpture for a couple of years and were keen to get a second(!)

The idea this time was to reflect much of the same qualities as the first piece, particularly the sea and the feeling of the location between the bays in St Ives but not to overshadow the earlier memorial sculpture.  I worked up a number of sketch maquette ideas – many of which had similar lines to the original work but different in form – the new sculpture needed to sit happily alongside the original and not jar with it but complement it without being too similar…


The piece that I developed through to the final work was inspired in large part by those lovely square sales you see on old fashioned Cornish fishing boat rigs – and by coincidence, much painted by Alfred Wallace who used to live yards away… It’s called ‘On the Wind’.



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Drawing at the English National Ballet

IMG_3761In my own studio I’ve been working with Georgie (btw it’s not her in the image above), a classically trained ‘en pointe’ ballerina for some time; mainly drawing form her in charcoal but also using wire for ‘3d sketching’.  Working with her is totally inspiring – ballerinas have such poise and grace, a way of moving and of being which transcends them above us mere mortals.

IMG_3870To build on this, I recently had a wonderful opportunity to go to Sadler’s Wells to see the English National Ballet in ‘company class’ – essentially a couple of hours of ballet exercises, half at the bar and half without.  (Little did I know that I was also to be totally honoured by the presence of one of the world’s greatest ballerinas, Tamara Rojo!)http://www.ballet.org.uk/




My own work lays bare the emotions and the duality of life – the agony and ecstasy, strength and fragility, the sublime and the ugly… so I have always been drawn to ballet and ballet dancers who starkly represent these conflicting yet complimentary qualities in every way.  And these dancers really do ‘suffer’ for their art – an artistry I find totally compelling, spellbinding even.


Strong lines have always been important in my work and I look for these when abstracting from the human figure. Being drawn to dancers now makes sense as I’ve learned that they too always look to the line – to extend their lines and to ‘sculpt’ in space, drawing arcs in the air.



All this is feeding and informing my vision for a new body of work – one for which my metalwork class at Central Saint Martins (see last blog post) is fundamentally important too.  It’s all beginning to come together nicely and I can’t wait to start pulling it together in the new work and to sharing the results with you…


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Metal & Sculpture at Central Saint Martins

Mad as the Mist and Snow 3In my practice, I tend to use plaster which I love, and the sculptures I make are then cast into bronze or bronze resin.

During the process of making I use wire to get the overall form in place and then plaster and scrim to make up the body of the work.  Many times I’ve noticed how the lines of the wire make beautiful forms in their own right and in many ways reflect quite closely what I want to portray.

IMG_3768Wire in itself would not be strong enough to make the work I have in mind so I was drawn to the idea of using steel.  My welding skills were fairly basic so I cast my eyes around for a course to brush them up to start realising my dream.

I found this amazing course under David Stewart http://davidstewartsculpture.co.uk/ at Central Saint Martins, London which was essentially a course on using metal for sculpture and as well as mig welding, we learnt to use bending and folding machines, a chop saw and plasma cutter amongst other things.



I made a number of things as a way of practising my skills and have become confident enough to order up my own welder and some steel supplies for my own studio – how exciting, I can hardly wait to get going!



This is one part in making my vision come to fruition – next stop English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells – blog post to follow…




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Macmillan Weekend at Curwen Gallery and Flux at Royal College of Art

Two exhibitions to see before Christmas

Macmillan Support 2015 einvite sm


If you’re in London this weekend, why not pop by to the Curwen Gallery where they have a Macmillan Cancer Fundraising weekend – a great cause and maybe something for Christmas?  Two of my pieces are amongst the work being sold.



Looking towards December, put the Flux Exhibition at the Royal College of Art in your diaries (11-14 Dec) – promises to be a fab event with over 100 artists all under one roof and 5 of my newest sculptures.

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Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who voted, I’ve made the Winners Show in the ‘Secret Art Prize’ at the Curious Duke Gallery in London – (woooohoooo!)

SAP Invite

Would be great if you could get along – there are 8 other artists represented so I’m sure it will be great to see!

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Final Call for ‘Secret Art Prize’

We’re in the last 2 days of this competition and I’m currently in 2nd place with my sculpture ‘Mad as the Mist and Snow’

Mad as the Mist and Snow 3

The thing is, there are no points for coming 2nd, so please could you click the link and add your vote – at this point every vote counts and yours could make the difference!



I am super keen to make this Show which will be at the Curious Duke Gallery in London, so please take a moment to vote if you like my work, thank you xxMad as the Mist and Snow 2


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