My masters course taught me that art & conservation or art & science, can be combined. It was such a revelation because it meant that I could combine my two passions and create the perfect job.
Growing up at school, they were separate subjects. As I moved through education, it came to a point where I had to make a choice between art and science, which I found really hard. Throughout my time in London at art school, I dipped into subjects I found most interesting, so my work became about the natural environment and our relationship with it. Studying art allowed me to carry out research to inform my practice.
And then I moved to Cornwall and studied MA Art & Environment. It was so exciting to be around like minded people who were all drawn to the sea. Surfers, Phd students, artists, scientists, conservationists, photographers, film makers, all under one roof and on one beach. I realized, more fully from then on, through conversations and collaborations, that all subjects are intrinsically linked.
I found my new work to be very reliant on science, the tides and some artistic skill. Creating the temporary, life size whale drawings, prompted questions, thoughts and discussions about whales. The first step towards conserving them. The drawings really do seem to educate and raise awareness about different species, how big they are and most importantly for me, their population. I seem to have stumbled onto creating a form of art that is many things and has many functions. I will soon be selling the drawings as printed cards and posters to raise money for marine conservation of whales & dolphins, which is another way the work can actually contribute to a cause other than art.
I also take part in art auctions, raising money for environmental organisations, along with exhibitions about conservation.