John Kinross Scholar in 2007.
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
The Scholarship let me go to Florence and gave me the time and space to flutter through that difficult time after graduating from Art School. I felt everything open up and my mind soared all 114 metres up to the top of the gilded Duomo. When I walked into the striped Duomo of Siena I was conveyed back to high school, to the scratchy black pen, steel tipped ruler and thin blue paper on which I had assiduously drawn out in axiomatic view, its banded Gothic columns.
It gave me independence in travel, language, people, architecture, beauty, coffee, gelato and vespas. One euro bottles of sharp sour red wine and chocolate filled custardy brioche pastries, heady cocoa sprinkled cappuccinos and sunshine on rows of Cyprus in the Boboli gardens, glassy amber rings on the Ponte Vecchio and red lace trimmed burgundy stockings in Calzedonia. Frivolity and heart break, long hot days of drawing, and evenings spent making piles of photocopies in the parqueted British Institute Library.
What was the impact on your practice?
My senses were flooded with a richness and breadth of new experiences, and I began to make work with a focus on the sensory. My work started to be about how I was feeling, how I was processing and reflecting what I saw, touched, heard, tasted and smelled as I travelled around Italy.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
I continue to prioritise time to think and make space for my own work. My work still has a focus on sensation, food and drink, light and dappled shade, lyrics and prose.
I am interested in the pleasures and familiar reflective spaces of daily life – the hand holds by which we move from day to day.