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Flinders: Fragments of a Life Spent Painting
A visual biography in pdf
I was born in 1950 in London. At a low, hard-scrubbed and deeply-grooved pine table, with legs that didn’t match, I began painting about three years later, overlooking Beverley Brook and Barnes Common.
Interminable school years were relieved by the close presence of the tidal Thames and dinghy rowing. On Chiswick Eyot the confines of school could be shaken off in a jungle world : hemlock and Himalayan balsam grew to heights far above our heads. Their seeds popped and propelled along with our imaginations while buses bussed over Hammersmith Bridge less than a mile away. The escape was magical.
Countless visits to museums and galleries in London in the sixties brought closer the work of Matisse, Ben Nicholson and Eric Ravilious - besides many others - for whom I developed a particular empathy which continues today. The work of Lewis Carroll, Dylan Thomas, D. H. Lawrence and Mervyn Peake in particular was also helping to feed a creative energy which was gathering pace.
Three years at West Surrey College of Art and Design (now University for the Creative Arts) in the Department of Textiles, were enhanced by the teaching of Susan Bosence, a specialist craftswoman in hand printing and dyeing. She conveyed not only her knowledge and craftsmanship in a way that made any practical printing sessions with her an inspiring experience, but also communicated an inference (through her own example) that the qualities found within art and craft, clearly exposed in her own work, could be all part of a wider philosophy of life.
For a few years I ran my own hand-printed textile workshop but my most compelling interest has always been painting. That preoccupation could not be quelled. But those three years spent engrossed in a Department of Textiles left a vital stamp: the substance of textiles, pattern and design continue to infiltrate my work.
At my first solo exhibition, in 1982, at the Staircase Gallery, Kew, I had our second-born slinged to myself. Throughout the busiest motherhood years I always found time to draw and paint, however short or disturbed that time may have been.
Those exuberant years proved to be the most invaluable still-further education: thereafter making it possible to switch efficiently and witfully from one form of work to another in a flash.
My working practice is still entwined with the quotidian: my studio stands just 10m from the house and I can smell when the baking bread is cooked.
I have been exhibiting my paintings since 1977. Work is in collections in Europe, New Zealand and the US.
1969 – 1970 Foundation Course, Central School of Art and Design (Central St. Martin's)
1970 – 1971 Foundation Course, Wimbledon College of Art and Design
1971 – 1974 BA Hons. Printed Textiles, West Surrey College of Art and Design (now University for the Creative Arts)
"We doe but learn today what our better advanced judgement will unteach tomorrow"
Thomas Browne, 'Religio Medici', 1643.