I was born in 1948 in the small mining village of Horden & Horden Colliery in County Durham. My father, grandfather and our whole family were part of that strong mining community. Mining disasters and deaths were commonplace and in a bid for a better life for his family my father joined the forces and eventually through his studies became a psychiatric nurse. We led an itinerant life stationed in England, Germany, Aden & Cyprus. We were a big Catholic family. I am the eldest of 6 all of us girls. The forces provided an opportunity for children to have more stability in their education by paying for their schooling away from home. My parents saw this as a great chance for me and for my education. As devout catholics they sent me to The Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, Layton Hill near Blackpool from 1960-66.
It was a great idea for my education but not so much for me at 11 years old as a relatively poor working class girl. It was an enormous shock to be at school amongst the children of wealthy middle and upper class parents. Adjustment was not easy and the Art room was my solace. Catholicism has also left its scars! I spent many holidays at my Grandparents house Harrop Edge in Cheshire. The house was condemned for human habitation with no electricity, damp & crumbling walls and ancient furnishings. It remains a huge resource for my imagination & I spent hours reading old books, magazines & staring at cracked ceilings as an adolescent. I was the first in my family to go into higher education. There were many family struggles (filling in forms for a grant etc) money always being in short supply.
I studied art at Lancaster College of Art from 1966-67, Leicester College of Art from 1967-70 & University College Goldsmiths London from 1971-72.
From 1972-73 I worked as an Art teacher in Lincoln & a visiting Lecturer at Lincoln College of Art. From 1973-86 I worked as an Art teacher and Head of Art in London schools and from 1986-2008 as an Art teacher in Norfolk & Suffolk.
I also worked with Edexcel/Pearson from 2000-2015 as Art & Design moderator for both GCSE & A levels. In 2009 I worked as Designer (Set/Props/Costume) for a Roughcast Theatre production of 'Playing with Fire' by Jo Clifford. I have run Life Drawing Classes & various Workshops regularly and have continued to paint, exhibit my work and maintain a studio throughout my life. My studio is now based in Suffolk.