HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
I grew up in the UK near the historic city of St Albans. I was always fascinated by the Roman Mosaics in the Verulamium Park which dates from AD 200!
We homeschooled our 5 children for many years, it wasn't until we came to NZ and our children having grown up that I started to create mosaics for myself. I took several classes, especially benefited from being taught by Kate Millington, who made the Titirangi mosaic sign, and beautiful mosaics at The Grey Lynn library, amongst others.
I found it immensely satisfying from the start, the range of colours, style, materials......endless possibilities.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
My work definitely has changed over the years and I am still learning and changing. I recently participated in the National Contemporary Mosaic Art Exhibition at the Pataka Museum and Gallery in Porirua. It was a wonderful weekend of workshops, talks and socialising with mosaic artists from all over NZ. We are planning the next exhibition to be held in Auckland next year. I use a lot of material in addition to ceramic and glass tile, such as shell beads and found objects. My husband brings me back bags of beads he finds in overseas markets while on business. These help keep each work unique.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
I have set up an unused garage on our property as my studio. It overlooks our garden, it is so peaceful here, a wonderful rural feel even though we are only half an hour from Auckland. We are surround by bush and have a garden wonderful diverse range of native birds visit our garden, which I find very inspirational.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT WHILE IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
I regularly like to visit the Huia dam. One of my sons uses a wheelchair and it is very challenging to find wheelchair friendly places to go out West, but at the dam is a wide sealed pathway, no cars allowed and the views are stunning.
Arataki Visitor Centre is another favourite. It is accessible and a great place to visit for all ages. Plus, I have found them very supportive to local artists, I have had two exhibitions there.
At the end of my road is a track built a couple of years ago, The Landing Road - Grendon Road walkway. There are many steps but also board walk and a lookout platform, which overlooks our valley. My husband and I regularly use the track as a peaceful and safe way to walk to Titirangi village.
At the other end of our road is the Tangiwai Reserve. I often take my granddaughter there to play on the swings, or go for an after dinner stroll. Some years ago the Titirangi Music Festival had live music events there, I wish it was used again for similar purposes, the rolling slopes made an ideal auditorium.
All of the string of pretty beaches only minutes from here are gorgeous, my favourite would be the Kakamatua Inlet, a beautiful stream walk to the Manukau harbour. I only wish it was wheelchair friendly!