Creative Process and Inspiration 

Can you describe a moment of unexpected inspiration that significantly influenced one of your major works? How did this moment change your approach to your art  

I was working on a project inspired by a piece from the National Museum of Ireland. I had been exploring different directions with clay through sculpture and at the wheel. The project continued through Covid lockdown and without access to clay, I was forced to return to the page to work through my ideas. Using the initial sketches of the item in the museum, the drawings evolved and kind of took on a life of their own. They became wilder and more abstract. The experience was extremely exhilarating and a real breakthrough moment for me in terms of my style. It continues to inform the marks I make today.  

Challenges and Overcoming Them 

What has been the most challenging project or phase in your artistic career, and how did you navigate through it? What did you learn about yourself as an artist during this time?

Leaving college and starting my own practice as the world came out of lockdown was daunting and extremely challenging. The world had changed significantly and the plans I had made before graduation were no longer possible.  

I have been extremely lucky to win several awards which, alongside income from regular teaching has sustained my ability to pursue ideas provided me with the freedom to stick to my guns and push myself to pursue work that interests and inspires me.  

I guess, I’ve learned from my previous life as a musician and music teacher, that you have to be very focussed and disciplined which can mean that other aspects of your life take a hit, but in the long term this is something I want to do more than anything else so I am happy to make the sacrifices.  

Artistic Community and Collaboration 

How do you view the role of community in the arts, and have you had any transformative experiences through collaboration with other artists or involvement in artistic collectives?

Being an artist can be isolating. Living in a rural location and becoming all-consumed by work, means sometimes I go without contact with the outside world for long periods of time. As such, communities are very important to me. They can be the virtual kind with other artists on Instagram or my college cohort, or through teaching and attending events like the festival or Potfest. I try to make sure I keep contacts alive by grabbing a coffee when I’m down in Edinburgh teaching or attending open studios and seeing how other artists work. 


Impact and Audience Engagement 

What impact do you hope your work has on viewers or society at large? Are there any specific reactions or engagements from the audience that you found particularly memorable or rewarding?

All vessels become canvasses for gestural brushwork and bold incisions.  Depending on the temperament of the piece, marks range from spontaneous incisions to abstract imagery. I seek moments of chance through a type of improvisation whether that is in the throwing or the decorating.  

Because the resulting imagery is abstract and applied in the moment, I don’t set out to represent something literally. I prefer to leave it to the viewer to put their interpretation on the marks or the colours and textures in the glazes.  

That said, a few years back a curator suggested that some of my marks had a musical quality which hadn’t occurred to me. But it was interesting to think that on some subliminal level I was channelling my background in music through ceramics. Perhaps creating work inevitably incorporates parts of ourself whether intentional or not. 


Evolution and Future Directions 

How has your work evolved over the years, and where do you see your artistic journey taking you in the future? Are there new mediums, themes, or projects you are eager to explore?

I am still in the early days of my practice and, for now, it is all about the marks on my landscape and porcelain work. Experimentation has always been a large part of my practice and over the past few years I have developed unique glazes to reflect the colours and textures of the land around me. I am still extremely excited by this work so I will be pushing this on for the foreseeable future to see where it takes me.  


About the Festival 

What are you looking forward to most about the Pittenweem Arts Festival

Being part of this amazing festival is an incredible opportunity. As this is my first solo exhibition, I’m both daunted and extremely excited to be showing. I’m also selfishly looking forward to being in Pittenweem by the sea for the duration. I live inland in the middle of the Angus countryside, so I don’t have access to coastal smells and sounds as often as I would like. I can’t wait to be there and I expect I will leave invigorated and inspired. 



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