One of my grandfathers was a commercial poster/ticket writer. My childhood included entering rooms and seeing small painted signs spread out and drying. These encounters with language as a physical and environmental reality were internalised, and they must be as much an influence on my work as subsequent knowledge and experience of concrete poetry and movements in art.
In my teens and early 20s, I worked more as a poet and small press publisher. This led to an interest in typography and, ultimately, visual arts in general. I completed a BA in Communication Design at the Faculty of Art and Design, North East London Polytechnic (studying and training in typography, graphics, photography and video). After graduating, I gained a Cert. Ed. in Further Education, and worked for 10 years as a lecturer in that sector. During this time, I also helped to run an arts workshop for adults with special needs.
For 18 years, after being awarded an MEd, I worked first as a Senior and subsequently a Principal Lecturer at a university. My main job was to help run an academic guidance centre, but I also taught visual communication to Humanities students. I now work full time as a visual artist and writer.
My early work has been exhibited as Textology: an exhibition of text-based art. It is concrete poetry and an interface between fine art and graphic design. Some of this work was published by Leeds Postcards, and one of my designs is included in Artists' Postcards: A Compendium (by Jeremy Cooper, Reaktion Books, 2012). This book also has such "star" names as Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol. A selection from Jeremy Cooper's collection, Wish You Were Here? (which has one of my postcards), was an Art Circuit touring exhibition, showing at various galleries, including MAC, Birmingham. In 2014, I had a solo show, TextSpaces, at Kunsthaus Rehau in Germany (this is the gallery of Eugen Gomringer, who is known as the 'father of concrete poetry').
My two-dimensional work encompasses colour photographs. This has become the largest part of my practice, and my ongoing exhibitions include Bright Side Up (fairs, markets and show grounds) and French Windows (different parts of France). I also have an exhibition of photographs taken in Rome, and this was shown in 2014 at the Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge. Another project is to acquire images from many different European countries. My earlier work in photography was influenced by Pop Art, while in the last few years I have inclined towards more complex compositions, influenced by both classic French street photography and Constructivism.
Using the computer, I am now producing prints of 'Constructive Art.' The first of these augmented my TextSpaces exhibition in 2014, while a few others were later shown at a group show in the Netherlands. Some of these artworks are also available as designs on products (mouse mats, mugs, tote bags etc) from Zippi Art. There is a link to this on the home page of this website.
For most of the 1980s I did not exhibit, although in 1989 I appeared in 'Word as Image' at the Australian National Gallery (alongside such leading twentieth century artists as Picasso, Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg). Since the middle of the 1990s, I have been exhibiting quite widely and produced new work in graphics, installations, video installations and, of course, photography.