As well as an artist and freelance designer I am an experienced meditant and facilitator and use my contemplative practice as a source for my creative artistic endeavours. I am co-founder – with Mark Geard – of Alamandria: The Art of Self-Mastery, Mindfulness and Meditation where I co-facilitate meditation and mindfulness retreats as well as workshops for corporates and prison inmates. I have been a Youthline counsellor, youth mentor and am currently a long term volunteer at the Mary Potter Hospice where I am a member of their ‘Wellness Action Group’ facilitating Creative Mindfulness Sessions for their staff. As a storyteller and poet I believe in the inspiriting power of story, myth and ritual.
Who are your favourite artists?
I am inspired by so many great artists and art epochs! I love Assyrian & Egyptian art. I have been fortunate
enough to visit Cairo Museum which is full of incredible works. I also find the Renaissance paintings of the Madonna & Child and the Annunciation particularly beautiful as well as the works of Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Rosetti, William Morris et al (who were connected with the Pre-Raphaelite movement). And of course there are great women artists like Frida Kahlo, Ninetta Sombart, & Georgia O'Keefe – whose life stories are as captivating as their paintings.
What is something people may not know about you?
I collect seeds & their pods. Every year during Autumn – & during other seasons – I collect seeds from the numinous plants at the botanical gardens. I have plants
in my garden such as fennel, valerian, lilies,
calendula, artichokes & even an oak tree that are all grown from the seeds I have collected during my walks.
What do you consider great design?
Mother Nature is the absolute best! I am constantly astounded at the complete and utter beauty of form and conscious creation that one can see in everything from a pine cone, to a dandelion, to a crystal.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by so much and so many people! The men I have worked with out at Rimutaka Prison are deeply inspiring in respect to what they are overcoming & their desire to transform themselves despite the tremendous hurdles they face. I am also deeply inspired by the works of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. Steiner's book 'Knowledge of the Higher Worlds' has greatly informed my own meditative practice. I am constantly inspired by nature and the animal kingdom too. I think this comes through in my art and the forms I use which are very fecund & plant-like – full of unfolding, movement & fertility.
Do you have a favourite quote?
I always liked 'to thine own self be true' but as I matured I realised that you can only be true to yourself if you know yourself. So 'Know thyself' is my pre-eminent proverb of choice. Steiner used 'Oh Man, know thyself!' as a kind of call to arms, you could say, in one of his significant esoteric verses and it also appeared on the walls of the Inner Temple in Egypt's Luxor Temple as 'Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods'. Which is so true. So it really is calling out to us across the epochs of civilisation to wake up to who we are!