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Where The Art Began Podcast

Updated: Apr 2

For a while now, I've been fascinated by how memory plays a part in my own art and practice.

Sometimes, I get incredibly vivid memories whilst painting, sparking a feeling or almost a 'deja vu' recollection.

An example of this would be the painting on the above left, 'St David's'. This small abstract on paper began as a seascape, but as the shapes and forms developed it reminded me of high land, looking over a wild ocean. With this in mind, I could clearly remember a walk I took as a child across the cliffs on holiday at St David's in Wales, when I was around 7 years old. It was an uncertain time, my Father had just been taken seriously ill and an ambulance had an arrived in the caravan park to take him to hospital. My Mum was frantic. I had been welcomed by another family and spent the day with them. My memory of the walk that day was solitary, however, I'm sure I would have not been there on my own!

I remember collecting flowers and looking down at the ocean, thinking it was beautiful and yet forceful at the same time. I feel all these emotions when I look at this painting and in many ways I feel it's a powerful thing to be able to acknowledge them now as a grown adult. My Mum recalls how I collected plants that holiday, it's something I do now as an artist- my studio is full of dried plants and twigs. I love to use them as drawing tools or subjects for abstract shapes and forms.

After a review of my work at the end of 2023, I realised that the vast majority of my work had some connections to my early childhood years. It turns out that I am not the only one who draws on their experiences from their early years as inspiration for current artwork...

I've been researching into the work of Sir Grayson Perry, who quite openly talks about his childhood and how it's impacted his art. He went through a particular 'introspective' period in his art when he created those wonderful vessels decorated with stories about his childhood life and struggles. I quickly fell down a rabbit hole looking at other well known artists who use their childhood to inform their work- consciously and subconsciously. This is something I really explore in my podcast, Where the Art Began

In the podcast- I interview 6 inspirational, contemporary artists and ask each one the same 3 questions. Bracing myself for the unknown with each interview, I was completely bowled over by diverse responses and stories that unfolded. Each interview really made me think about my own experiences a little more and in turn, cemented my belief that those early years are in some ways the most critical in our lives.

Please do let me know if you enjoy Series 1- featuring Nicholas Wilton, Alice Sheridan, Sarah Cox, Gareth Edwards, Sasha de Witt and Pamela Bates.

Has childhood impacted your art practice in anyway? Please get in touch if it has, I would love to hear from you!

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