My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am an artist and I predominantly use mixed-media fluid mediums such as resin, inks and fluid acrylic paint to create ocean-inspired artwork that is influenced by the coast where I live. I also paint seascapes with acrylic or oil paint. I have a degree in printed surface pattern design but in the past two years I’ve moved more into fine art rather than design within my practice. I’ve focused on developing my skills using resin to create multi-layered artworks that imitate the sea. I have a studio at my home here in Wainui where I create my work and I’m always experiencing and exploring new ways to create art. I know how to screen print, Lino cut and I’m always willing to learn and upskill. I’m very passionate about supporting and encouraging other artists to develop their creative practice. My Instagram account has gained a large following (over 54k) where I aim to inspire others and instigate dialogue about creativity, use art as a tool to overcome anxiety and other mental health issues, and inspire those who don’t see themselves as creative to begin their own practice.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
- I have a B.A. (hons) degree in printed surface design from Falmouth College of Arts in the UK.
- I trained to be a secondary school Art teacher (however I only taught for a year before deciding to emigrate to NZ).
- I have been practicing my own art daily for the past two years, and I have participated in three art exhibitions during this time.
- I have taught myself how to use many different mediums including resin and I’ve been asked to be the New Zealand brand ambassador for a resin company who supply me with resin at no cost.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I worked in a secondary school as a learning support assistant for a year before then training to be an Art teacher whilst in the UK and worked for a year. After then emigrating to New Zealand I worked as a learning support assistant in a primary school for a few years, before then working in a secondary school as the Arts coordinator. I decided to focus on raising my own children rather than continue a career as a teacher, and then my own art practice which I’ve been committed to for the past two years. I share many of the skills I’ve learnt online for others to learn from.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
When I trained as an Art teacher I found that I loved teaching and working with young people, and sharing my passion for art. However when I emigrated to New Zealand a change in the qualification circumstances meant I would had to retrain. At that stage of my life I wasn’t ready to as I had my first child. Therefore I feel that this opportunity will perfectly blend my love for art and its benefits, with working with students again. I would love the opportunity to engage with schools and share the knowledge that I’ve developed over the past 20+ years of creativity. In the part two years since my children got older I have really focused on learning new mediums that would be easily transferable to different ages and skill levels. I am passionate about creativity as a tool to enhance well-being and mental health, and encourage all abilities to 'have a go' rather than focusing on becoming the best or the outcome. I want to spread the message to young people that creating art should be about having fun, and enjoying the process rather than a perfect end result.