“I think that the bursary scheme is fantastic and a crucial form of support for young, aspiring artists who would otherwise find their efforts falling on the deaf ears of the mainstream contemporary art arena. It offers confirmation that the path they have chosen is worthwhile and provides an opportunity for them to explore it and develop their own creative voice. It would be tragic to lose this scheme!”
SWLA Bursary Project 1 (2003)
To study, draw and paint the Barbary Macaques of Gibraltar, with the ultimate Goal to produce a series of portraits of individual animals.
SWLA Bursary Project 2 (2004)
To study, draw and paint the Gelada Baboons of the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.
I was a student at the Royal College of Art at the time I was awarded the above bursaries and they were crucial in enabling me to realise my postgraduate projects, as well as offering reinforcement and encouragement to my ongoing pursuit of a subject matter about which I am passionate, but yet might have been regarded as somewhat obscure artistic fodder. The resulting work comprised both a first year solo show at the college which consequently led to my obtaining representation with a London gallery (a very constructive relationship which continues to this day) and my contribution to the graduate show which then led to me working with Walker Books to produce the children’s book ‘Ape’.
Furthermore, in allowing me to go and spend time with these animals in the wild, and the experiences that resulted, I think the bursaries played a major part in the way I went on to translate them ‘onto canvas’ and so shaped the way I work today.
I now work full time as a fine artist and illustrator. I exhibit and sell large animal drawings through the Park Walk Gallery in Chelsea and also work with a team at Walker Books (so far producing ‘Ape’), a second book is due out at the end of the year and a third book proposal in now in the pipeline.