I originally trained and worked for many years as a sculptor before beginning to study dance and movement improvisation in 2002. At the time the change seemed quite natural as both were physical practices – sculpture was a kind of very slow dance and dance a form of fast sculpture. I was fortunate to study with dancer and choreographer Janis Claxton, a fierce creative spirit and genius teacher, who set in motion (literally) a journey into dance improvisation that led to Contact Improvisation, Butoh, Action Theatre and a variety of somatic approaches to movement. From early in these studies two core and interwoven interests emerged: the body as a creative source and improvisation as a performance form. In the following years numerous teachers informed and honed this practice,amongst many : Kirstie Simson, Keith Hennessey, Jess Curtis, Jules Beckman, Andrew Morrish, Nina Martin, Charlie Morrisey, Yumiko Yoshioka, Simon Whitehead and Miranda Tufnell.
I further developed this practice participating in a diverse range of collaborations including A38 (a South West based improvisation collective I formed in 2010), research labs, residences and devised performance projects with other regional and national performance makers. Improvisation though remained the primary focus and there were a multitude of pop-up performances often featuring whoever showed up on the night.
In recent years I have returned to visual art, primarily drawing. The initial exploration was to treat drawing as an improvisational practice adapting some of the approaches I studied in movement to mark making on paper. Through this “empty space” approach familiar themes began to emerge: the body as creative source and our inter-relationship within the planetary ecological system. As the climate crisis and biodiversity collapse accelerates, drawing has emerged as a vital tool for understanding and responding to the urgency of our time.
Alongside my own practice I have worked extensively in the field of arts for health. I passionately believe in the transformative power of art. I am an associate lecturer at the Peninsula Medical School Exeter and Plymouth where I teach Contact Improvisation and embodied creativity to medical students. I co-facilitate Dartington Contact Improvisation and have independently taught CI, creative movement and improvisation. I have also acted an independent producer organising workshops, artist’s labs and events within the arts community.