Art should be considered as an essential because it challenges, questions, is thought provoking, it helps maintain well-being, it solves problems, it highlights, it can be enjoyable and entertaining, it should always be accessible and inclusive and it nearly always enriches our lives.
I am particularly interested in how the arts & culture give us a means to articulate emotion, reaction and our inner feelings. It is an outlet for expression and it has an affect on us, be it positive, negative or indifferent. Often our experience will be unique, sometimes it will be shared and always we can be confidant that there is no right or wrong as it is subjective. I am still intrigued and gratified that people want to engage and have connection with my artwork and with the projects I am involved in as an Arts Producer and with the artists I am supporting. I work in the knowledge that quietly continuing in the face of adversity (something artists have always faced) can have as great an impact as those that choose to be ‘fierce’.
My continued and evolving awareness relating to our environment has led to my having a more ‘kindful’ approach of living and has resulted in changes in my practice. I carefully source materials and make many of my own paints using natural sustainable materials. I am also using digital photography as an art form more and I try to repurpose anything I can together with using natural local materials.
In relation to my work as a Producer and Arts Consultant striving for sustainability has meant that I often collaborate with local councils relating to complying and helping them achieve sustainable tourism, working with disability and wider inclusion groups in an endeavour to achieve accessibility in the creative sector and for individuals. I continually question and try to find solutions to ensure that projects do not have a negative impact on the environment and have a positive impact on people.
Accessibility should be at the heart of all our work as creative people. We need to challenge ourselves and others about how inclusive our practices and projects are. When we think up new ideas and ways of sharing art inclusion should always be within those initial thoughts and not afterthoughts. Artists with disabilities and artists that have mental health problems should always be given additional access and support because their challenges are even greater in a sector that is challenging enough. I am fortunate that I have been able to support many artists through Access Support Funding provided by the Arts Council which has enabled them to create and fulfil projects many of which have received funding. Please contact me or the Arts Council to ask about how to achieve this funding to help support you.
As an experienced artist I am able to give an informed and sensitive approach to working with other artists and groups. I understand the sector and know how best to negotiate funding, how to engage audiences, the benefits of collaboration, being realistic and practical whilst remaining true to your practice and knowing the necessity and value of evaluating, recording and legacy. I always have the wants and needs of the artists I work with at the forefront as this always ensures successful outcomes that all involved parties can be pleased with.
I am in a position to not only continue my own arts practice but to also help others to have a career in the arts. Its a roller-coaster sector to be in but so rewarding when things are going right. Resilience is a requirement and reinvention can be a very useful tool.
My mantra is, ‘Keep it simple’, ‘We have to support each other’ and ‘Access to All’.