My arts practice is firmly rooted in community and celebratory arts events, as well as extensive knowledge and experience of scenic arts for film, theatre, TV, including making puppets and lanterns. Recently I have been the designer and maker of the Opening Ceremony for ‘Giortes Rokkas’ in Kissamos, Crete, from 2017 - 2019.
Having grown up in three different countries, South Africa, Greece and the UK, each culture has informed my work since. On hot Greek summer nights on the islands, as a small child, I was enthralled by the outdoor Karaghiozi shadow puppet theatre. In South Africa I became fascinated by the intense colours and intricate geometric shapes of traditional Zulu art and beadwork that we had in our home, and as a teen in the UK, learning about the history of artists such as Turner and Constable gave me a broad canvas with which to approach life and art.
My life-long ecological awareness, desire for sustainability and regeneration and the message of reduce, reuse and recycle has led to many projects with an environmental theme. These include teaching young children at the Eureka Museum of Childhood in Halifax, UK, to create toys out of industrial waste, discarded plastic and cardboard products and being a Community Maker for the “Batley Experience” where an abandoned mill building became a site specific theatre for stories of the community.
Other projects include Blooming Arts ‘Fun in the Parks’ Oxford, Cutteslowe Junior Drama group, East Oxford Young People’s Puppet Group, Mother and Toddler Photography Group, Puppet Making and Performance for Special Needs Groups for Todmorden College of Further Education, Earthlinks Arts Project in Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire, and Workshop Leader for ‘Ulverston Lantern Festival’
Using community lantern making workshops with children, young people and adults of all ages, my skills in planning accessible artistic techniques, encouraging and facilitating creativity in a community setting then creates and delivers the art works either for performance or installation.
My proudest moments of my career to date are:
.....having been part of the lantern company team who made the Opening Ceremony for the European Capital of Culture 2017 in Aarhus Denmark,
.......a time when a severely disabled and uncommunicative woman who never participated in anything according to her carer, picked up a paint brush to paint her puppet in one of my workshops,
..... and my daughter’s reaction when I told her I was painting one of the sets of the TV series Peaky Blinders.