Where are you from?I live in Huddersfield now, but I am originally from Manchester.
Describe what you do: I’m a visual artist, working with a range of media including painting, drawing and digital art. I develop creative projects and exhibitions that have an interactive element and often involve researching a historical event or heritage theme that is linked to a specific community or place.
How did you get into it? I have always worked in the creative industries. Initially I studied fashion design at college, I then worked in professional theatre for 10 years in theatre wardrobe. It was hard work and long hours but I had a fantastic time working for many different theatres including The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. I had a change of career in 2000, I began a BA Fine Art course at Huddersfield University, then Sheffield Hallam University’s MA Fine Art course. During these academic years I developed my artistic career by working in galleries doing creative educational school projects, exhibiting my own work and teaching art and design. I am now Creative Director of a Huddersfield based organisation called EIAT Creative Education, where I develop creative and educational projects including artist exhibition projects. In 2007, I was awarded a grant from Arts Council Yorkshire for a project called Secret Sea, based on the seafaring heritage of South Tyneside in the North East www.secretsea-eiat.org
What inspires you in your work? I get inspired by all sorts of things, but I do have a specific interest in the history of painting, technology, history, archaeology, maps and heritage, so basically a mix of old and new.
What’s the best thing about what you do? Knowing when to pursue a good idea, finding a way to do it, and doing it – even if it is just for yourself.
What do you like best about being based in Huddersfield? It is definitely a good place to be if you are involved in the creative or media industries. I also like the town for its impressive train station, markets, restaurants and bars and also being close to the countryside.
What’s your ultimate aim? I don’t really have one, success for me is embedded in the quality and longevity of what I do. I would like to be able to continue to develop more art projects and who knows, perhaps even one in Huddersfield.