I am a professional artist and have worked in Public Art since graduating from my Fine Art degree course at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1989.
My first job was with Manchester based environmental art practice, Partnership Art Limited (now Eaton Waygood Associates
). I worked there for two years immediately after graduating and gained some invaluable experience assisting many well-established artists on a variety of public art commissions. I was recruited for the specific task of researching and producing an extensive publication that assessed the value of Public Art internationally. It was commissioned by Central Manchester Development Corporation.
In 1991, I set up my own business – initially as a sole trader – and since then have continued to develop my portfolio of interesting and varied public art projects, that very often involve community engagement. I like to make work that is site-specific and responds directly to the brief presented. I also enjoy exploring the potential and the application of new or unfamiliar materials and processes to achieve the desired results. This involves working closely with skilled experts, eg. blacksmith Martin Lister in Stockport and Taylor Electronics (neon tube lighting manufacturers) in Manchester, to name just two. Over the years, I have gained a strong reputation for producing durable pavement mosaic features and innovative architectural metalwork, although my work is not limited to these artforms.
The list of past clients includes NORWEB plc; The Groundwork Trust – St. Helens, Wrexham, Wirral, Manchester, Merseyside; Friends of Anderton and Marbury Country Park, Cheshire;Community Forests NorthWest; Norton Priory Museum Trust; Bury Met Arts Centre; The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester; more schools than I could possibly ever count; libraries and museums across the North West region; arts centres and other independent organisations plus a great many local authorities. Facilitating workshops for all ages and abilities is one of my key skills.
Between commissions and other projects, I continue to produce personal work in the studio and attend training courses to improve my range of skills. In 2004, for example, I was awarded a place on the acclaimed David Reid bronze-casting course at the Royal Academy in London and later worked with Castle Fine Art Foundry in Oswestry to produce a body of cast bronze work for exhibition. In 2012, I have attended training courses at the Roman Mosaic Workshop in Bury St. Edmunds and at Manchester Museum.
In 2007, I developed the first prototype Mosaic Stepping Stone Kit, based on my experience of helping complete beginners to produce mosaics for paving features as part of my commissioned work. The product won me first prize at the Ideas Factory competition organised by Business North West. This ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event involved pitching the idea to a panel of business experts and the prize rewarded me with a free office for 12 months and access to expert business guidance to develop the retail of my mosaic products and services. You can find the latest range of mosaic products on my sales website.
In recent years I have increasingly specialised in mosaic and now work for private clients as well as making work for public sites. I also work for Manchester Museum, delivering workshops in art and humanities as part of the secondary and post 16 curriculum and run a weekly mosaic class for adults. I am a professional member and North West Regional Co-ordinator for BAMM – British Association of Modern Mosaic and also a member of AIMC International Assocation of Contemporary Mosaicists.