The mom of four embracing a passion for sculpture | Vicky meets
• Where does your passion for art and sculpture come from?
My parents were teachers. When we were kids they took us to Europe in a VW camper van, stopping to explore the galleries and architecture. He instilled in me an appreciation of art. I had a university place to study textiles, but then I was spotted as a model. I ended up posing in London for top designers including Nicole Farhi, Jean Muir, Jeff Banks, John Galliano and Betty Jackson. Then I had four children. When they were a little older I went to Chichester to study fine art and sculpture. I chose to do it as a full time degree and so I would come home and cook dinner and then study until the end of the night and write essays.
• When did you graduate?
I graduated last year with a prime. Not bad considering that I was also a full-time mom! Because of Covid graduation was delayed until this year, but it was lovely. I also managed to do a show at the end of last year between the two confinements.
• You won a pretty impressive prize recently, didn’t you?
I was really happy to be shortlisted for the last ten [out of 600] in The Lady Petchey Sculpture Prize 2021, the sculpture element of the prestigious Holly Bush Painting Prize.
• What material do you work with?
I mainly work with stainless steel because of its durability and longevity. It is very physical and difficult work, but I like it. Sometimes using the angle grinder is exhausting and some parts are so big that I can’t lift them and I have to ask my husband to help me. But I like big dramatic pieces. It’s frustrating when it doesn’t bend quite the way you want it to, but it’s very satisfying. I worked in a factory in Arundel which allowed me to borrow space. Fat guys from Burley working on tankers and me working on a flower!
• What inspires your work?
Nature mainly – walks by the sea, plants and flowers, birds, waves. I mainly work on garden commissions at the moment. I start with a paper template and then create something from a flat piece of metal that seems to flow or somehow come alive.
• What’s the next step for you?
It’s been a year since I graduated and now I feel like I’m saying I’m a sculptor. My work will be included in an exhibition at Lauderdale House in London next summer, and I hope to exhibit more and participate in other competitions. I would also like to do public art. Otherwise, I just want to keep working. I like the idea that my pieces will outlive me. It may be related to my age!
• To not miss the podium and wear beautiful designer clothes?
These days you will more likely find me with goggles, anti-vibration gloves and a boiler suit!