A bit more about me and art:
Early in my career, I was awarded a full academic scholarships to study art in the United States and travel and study in England. During this time, I also taught foundation drawing at the University of Sunderland. I have worked in the art schools and business schools of five universities in three countries and later studied art management courses as part of the Masters in Art and Cultural Management at the University of Winchester.
Studying in the North Carolina mountains, close to the site of the Black Mountain School of Art made as much of an impact on my artistic journey as it did on the artists, such as Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Rauschenberg, who visited there. In England, my personal tutor at University was Robin Crozier, a founding member of the Fluxus Art Movement and the Mail Art Movement, whose archives are now in the Tate Gallery collection.
I have organised solo exhibitions of my work annually or bi-annually since 1990 in venues ranging from Universities and arts centres, to cafes, open studios events, the English Wine Centre and Boxgrove Priory. Honours include the NC Governor’s Award (Honourable Mention) and A Princes Trust Award (grant funding). Many of the projects I have collaborated on have been supported by The English Arts Council, The Welsh Arts Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
I am very grateful to the collectors, curators, gallery owners and artists who have supported my work and encouraged it to grow. My work is owned by private collectors in Australia, England, Wales and the USA and I was first invited to showcase work in a Downtown gallery when the SuperBowl came to Minneapolis. The past few years have brought opportunities to move into publishing with Smith & Co Galleries (London & NYC) and show with Mrs. Toolip Art Gallery (Barcelona). Working with the curator, Sergio Gomez from 33 Contemporary (Chicago & Miami) allows my paintings to be shown internationally more regularly and work now available in the United States, the United Kingdom and through ARTSY.
Throughout my art career, I have balanced a dedication to giving time to manage art projects for charities with pursuing my own creative development. I organised BBC Big Arts Week for my county, sat on the Welsh National Eisteddfodd Arts Committee, raised thousands of pounds restoring and auctioning paintings for the Youth Hostel Association which were auctioned in Partnership with Gorringes Auctions in Lewes. I am a founding member of the Alpha Phi Fraternity chapters in London and Appalachian State University. From 2020 - 2022, I was Artist in Residence at the South Downs Youth Hostel. I drew a mural of a lightening-struck tree (a symbol of hope) on an ancient barn wall for walkers to see during lockdown (broadcast live on instagram) and created an ongoing art programme working with emerging artists. Projects in recent years include an exhibition with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at Boxgrove Priory in March 2020 in collaboration with the composer, Nathan James, including a BBC Radio Sussex Interview and 3 months painting live at Brighton Railway Station behind a large glass wall. I am currently working on a new series of work in the studio.
And a bit more about me and property...
During my University years in England, I lived in sprawling Victorian houses with beautifully forgotten wallpapers, woodwork and fireplaces. Their history enthralled me and told a story of lives lived almost 100 years before. I studied printmaking and drawing in a Manor House in the old converted kitchens and the ballroom surrounded by tiled floors and large windows flooding the space with daylight.
During my childhood in the southern United States, we spent weekends visiting building sites, working out where doorways and stud walls would go, looking over architect's floor plans, and watching as concrete was poured. I learned a lot watching developments go up as my city expanded and 'This Old House' was played in the background of my youth for years. My first job was for a Realtor delivering leaflets - my second was as a guide for a president's birthplace - a log cabin and kitchen cabin, explaining how they were built.
Those student rooms combined with my love for historic houses led to our first property - a spacious Victorian terrace in Cardiff, housing art students from the local university in 1998. This house was quite a renovation project and with false ceilings, layers of seventies carpets to pull up, flagstones to uncover in the garden, a tree growing through the laundry room and a sink that fell into my arms when I opened the cabinet doors, we learned a lot about surveys, plastering and buying houses. We also learned about innovative restoration, timeless beauty, budgeting, managing tenants and community, how to boost your profit when you sell and how to enjoy the process.
In the following years, we learned about being Gazumped, and bought and renovated another Victorian terraced house (including restoring a brick patio, laying wood and tiled floors, uncovering stone work and putting doorways in stone walls). We opened three art galleries that required renovation and installation - one Victorian building overlooking a castle, various pop-up gallery spaces that required renovation and a flagship building built with Black Horse Finance (Lloyds TSB) - with a gallery in the entrance. These weren't my first galleries though, my first gallery was a room and a studio at Appalachian State University that I was given in exchange for renovation. This process of improving properties through renovation and art have been consistent throughout my gallery and curation career.
As we have moved around the country over the past 20 years, my family have continued to renovate, maintain and improve properties - both on behalf of property owners and in the homes we lived in. During this time, we continued to renovate and redecorate the properties I showed art in - most recently at the South Downs Youth Hostel and Brighton Railway Station during artist residencies.
From bringing life and beauty to modern houses for landlords who lived abroad, to laying raised flooring, overseeing window restoration and replacement and having utilities meters restored so that families could sell homes to pay for care home fees, we have helped owners realise the potential in their properties. We've seen windows that fell out when we opened them, found the source of leaks that no one could find, researched modern methods to fix ancient problems and kept our eye on the bottom line. We've spent our time working with homes in desirable areas that had ongoing issues - from Medieval homes to modern properties and single issues to full renovations, learning how to care for, maintain and improve each era with good design.
This leads me to 2023... the year that I decided to scale our family enterprise and add to our property knowledge, portfolio and skills. All of the property experience in the world will not take you as far as working in a team, gaining modern training from property entrepreneurs, improving your skills and learning best practice. Being accepted into the Samuel Leeds Academy has brought us a modern approach to building a portfolio, ongoing and up to date training on current property policies and access to a network of property investors and professionals.
Through Noble Nooks Invest, we work with ambitious individuals who are ready to start their property journey. We work together to find the right project and as they learn about staging, marketing and business relationships and begin their new business.
Within our luxury accommodation company, Noble Nooks, we look after properties for owners who are looking for a good relationship and peace of mind. We have built a staging team who are practiced at sourcing furniture and handling artwork, adding good design and beautiful art for our corporate clients and professionals in the cultural industries. We specialise in working with owners who live abroad or are ready to retire.
Art, luxury and Sussex are a great property combination.