We’re obsessed with looking back at our ‘glory days’ and obsessing over how wonderful our lives were back then.
Whilst a certain amount of retrospection is certainly conducive to the development of self-awareness, indulging too much in this past-time can lead to an unhealthy obsession with the past and a worrying case of ‘rose-tinted’ glasses.
Despite these niggles, I’ve decided to take retrospective look at my journey thus far in both the world of art, as well as my personal development as a human being in order to better introduce you, the reader, to me.
Life began for me, as it must do for many, in my mother’s womb. I don’t remember much of my time there, in fact I remember nothing at all. My first memories are of Mother stroking my hair as I was put to sleep in a bed for the very first time. I must have been 2 at the time, but I can still recall the sensation of slowly falling asleep whilst gazing at the ceiling of my bedroom. It was decorated as a clear blue sky with a few dots of clouds skimming across the horizon.
My journey as an artist began with one bold prod of a pudgy finger into a shiny ball of acrylic paint. Red has been my favourite colour for as long as I remember and I’ve aged I’ve only grown more fascinated with this seductive, alluring tone. My first foray into fine art was a self-portrait, I’m lucky enough to still own it, although I doubt it’ll be selling for a good price any time soon…The portrait is framed in pride of place in my bathroom, my abstract scrawl sternly gazing down at anyone choosing to take a seat on my throne.
It wasn’t until I reached the age of 9 that I started to take a concerted interest in the act of creating. I’d become enthralled with the sculpting and had deplored my Mother to give me just a small handful of clay so that I start working on my first pieces. Initially she refused, stating that the mess would be too great, but after much prostrating I was granted 5kg of the stuff and even given a little corner of the kitchen with which to begin my work.
I obsessed over sculpture for the majority of my youth. I loved the moist feel of the wet clay betwixt my hands made me feel like a God, quite a feeling to come to terms with considering I was only 11 years old. When I arrived at art school I felt that I was already head and shoulders above my class mates. They clumsily thumbed their way through their sculptures whilst I was intent on creating a masterpiece, however my life was about to take a turn that I had not expected at that point.
I met my first and only wife Rita whilst joyously bouncing through a mosh pit at an underground punk night in London. We bumped, jostled and smashed into each other’s arms that night and have never managed to untangle ourselves since, something which I’m rather glad of. Up until that point I’d considered myself a loner, someone destined to purse his artistic dreams but never his romantic ones. When our lives became entwined in the summer of 1979 my life was irreversibly changed.