I was born into a family of model makers, painters and photographers, so the boundaries that determined the nature of work were completely elastic. Perhaps as a result, I have never felt that my work needed to be determined by a specific medium, only that making things is part of the value of being.
My parents made dioramas, glass paintings and props for museums and television. So when I was a child creations of magical randomness would appear. I’d come home from school to find that a spider-web filled the living room or that an ice cave was forming in the shed.
Because it was happening around me I was inspired to make things too. I have a clear memory of making a ring from painted foam rubber and wire. A love token- made with the proud enthusiasm of a five year old- but received, I suspect, with more ambivalence by the girl in the year below!
In 1986, after an art foundation course at Kingston Polytechnic, I went to Canada where I spent three months taking photographs. It felt like the best way to spend time and throughout the 90’s I travelled frequently to take pictures; for a fresh eye, but more specifically for the sake of a single mind; without a role it’s easier to see the poetry of the world going by.
The work I made at this time was seen in publications including The Times, The Independent, The Observer. Marie Claire, Creative Review and Photographers International. It was also held in London galleries and represented by Corbis Photo Library as well as being included in international exhibitions including several Royal Photographic Society International Print Exhibitions, winning a medal in one of them.
After graduating in 1991 from a multi discipline fine art degree course at Brighton Polytechnic, I spent the next 20 years working freelance, making scenery for Nick Pemberton and later Dave Crosswell. Projects spanned a vast spectrum that included a Viking theme park in Norway, a whale’s stomach in the Czech Republic for the film Pinocchio, a giant skull, for the London premiere of Pirates in the Caribbean, and the heraldic decorations on the Queen’s row barge, The Gloriana, the lead vessel in the Diamond Jubilee Thames pageant in 2012.
Working with reflective surfaces for my degree show, I had discovered that I could vacuum form mirrored plastic and later, In 2005, while working on a baroque interior for television I was required to find a way to antique mirror. This started a sequence of experiments which lead to producing designs in mirror and in 2008 I set up www.saligodesign.com with a business partner selling my designs. I sold my share in 2016 while Saligo Design continues to make antiqued mirror for an international client base.
From 2005 until 2016 I taught drawing and painting and life and portrait classes in adult education. It was a very rewarding way of exploring ideas. Teaching became intrinsic to the way I thought and kept me alert to the potential of any ideas, observations or processes that one could teach and learn through. It also showed me how many different voices can describe the same thing.
Now I am concentrating fully on my own work.