I am constantly inspired by the scenery and wildlife of the south west peninsula. At the same time I’m very aware of the pressures of human activity and the threats posed by climate change. These are the issues that motivate me. I use both art and writing to reflect on the beauty and fragility of the South Hams environment.
I have just self-published a book, which I have illustrated with water-colour paintings and prints. It evolved from a piece I began while undertaking a creative writing course at Plymouth College of Art and was completed following a very encouraging and informative course led by Patrick Gale, organised by Literature Works.
My writing is in the rural gothic tradition and gives birds, whose ancestors inhabited the setting long before the settlement by men, a voice. The title ‘Wist Water’ references the repository of ancient knowledge of water sources and courses held in the bird community. This knowledge becomes pivotal to preserving the estuary which is their home. Knowledge alone though is not enough and so human help is sought.
I am currently working on the second story in a series of three. Outlaw fishermen are plotting to make money by illegally netting fish within the river, an area with protected status as a spawning ground. The birds become aware of these plans and, conscious of the threat it poses to fish stocks, use the men’s superstitions and disconnect from the natural world to try to deter and hinder them.
While working on the draft I have had the great privilege of being selected for the Literature Works Hothouse course led by Monique Roffey. Her generous advice and instruction has been invaluable at this crucial stage.
I also write poetry and flash-fiction which I publish in my blog.