I started collected birds eggs, caterpillars and frogspawn, when I was six, at seven I had Saturday morningart classes and learnt how to make pillow lace – so my interests in art and nature started at an early age. The wonders of nature are my inspiration.
I trained at Kingston and Wimbledon Schools of Art before going on to the Royal College of Art in South Kensington.
I married an architect and together we built the first all glass house in England at Capel in Surrey, called Panshangar. The subsequent publicity
helped to launch our careers. I was designing interiors and exhibition stands for architects and won the Vogue Talent Contest, which led to a spell working for publishers Condé Nast and for Queen magazine. We had four children and when the marriage split they were aged from one year to eight.
I took them to Cape Town for a year to work on the interior of an hotel for the South African Breweries, but apartheid drove us back to England. I had always split my time between writing and art and when my youngest son started full time school, I went back to being a student at the London Film School, as a scriptwriter. After a year I was invited to join the staff for what proved to be a wonderful job which lasted through the school years of the children and involved students from twenty two different countries around the world, who came from many different backgrounds.
I was offered a writer-in-resident appointment at the Sydney Film and Television School, this was my first visit to Australia.
When I returned to London my old job was no longer available, at which time old friends suggested that I renew my interest in art. So, after a Summer refresher course at Falmouth School of Art I bought a small hydraulic press and set up shop as a printmaker in linocuts. I was fortunate in that one of myold tutors Julian Trevellyan, husband of the painter Mary Fedden, lived in the same street and when theyopened their studios with the annual Open Gardens event in Hammersmith Terrace and Chiswick Mall, theyinvited me to join in. Their clients came on to see me and so it was that my new career as a printmaker got offto a flying start.
While living in London we exchanged houses with American families and went camping in the Yosemite National Park. This sparked my interest in wilderness areas and gave my children the travel bug. We have ended up on different continents, two sons in England, one in Spain and my daughter in Australia. So I have been the one commuting from England to Australia in order to get to know my grandchildren and to make screenprints in Melbourne and linocuts in my own studios in Somerset and Kent before moving to Cornwall and exhibiting prints in both countries.
When Covid struck I was in Australia, a big country with a scattered population, able to shut both internal borders and stop International flights. Australians stranded overseas are now beginning to some home and I hope to return in March 2022. In the meanwhile, I have just had a solo open studio event and was able to welcome visitors after many months of lockdown.
Where's your favourite place?
A: the beach where I walk everyday.
What's your favourite book and/or film?
A: I am seriously in awe of Hilary Mantel for her Wolf Hall trilogy, her scholarship and power of imagination able to draw the reader into the total evocation of scene, the room the furniture the wall hangings the time of day and of season, together with the characters their rich appearance, clothes and jewels, their mood and the undercurrent of threat and intrigue of the period and of the story.
What irritates you?
A: The damaging side of social media to people who allow their emotional wellbeing to depend on likes, who are vulnerable to coercion and become the victims of hateful abuse, by anonymous trolls if they step out of line in freely expressing their thoughts.
Who is your hero/who do you most admire?
A: David Attenborough is both the person who I would most like to meet and my hero for doing so many of the things that I would like to have done and leaving the unique legacy of his many wildlife films.
Describe your latest work
I have produced a book of my animal prints and watercolours called Vanishing Wilderness with the back story of my travels. Blue Island Press in Sydney have produced a 2022 Calendar twelve of my linocut landscape prints, on heavy weight art paper. These have been selling well at an exhibition locally which still has a week to run.