My current exploration of strong faces shows I am getting a bit fed up with the word beautiful. It takes everything away and gives us nothing. When we award status beauty we deny strength and intelligence. If status beauty is not awarded, what then?

Taking art off the wall to show a story

In The Salon de Reussée, the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo, reworked, new work found within discards, actively mining the thrown away to discover a dialogue for our joint future. The old faces stare out from their canvas world asking past generations what they were thinking when they mined our earth for profit and gain … again and again. The same faces look forward with raised eyebrows, questions for those growing into our future, and asking how we can use art to highlight and change the course of commercialism … leading us to revel in the re-found, the reused, the rediscovered, finding value in the thrown away.

Faces keep appearing and asking their recycling questions of me.

All part of a body of work, the Salon de Reussée: “Materials used are old canvasses, their past marks and textures intentionally visible, old half tubes of paints from fund raising artist sales, brushes and tools from a young artist friend who died unexpectedly. My father’s art box recently inherited. I use and treasure these inputs to all my work. And frames, why look to plastic, China, water use and shipping, new pressures on our world, when sheds, attics, jumbles and charity shops are cluttered with the very frames that robbed the earth once already. They cannot surely go to landfill or burn and carbonise.”

Painting in Monsegur, a Bastide town, our house and gallery space built in 1246

A member of the Maison des Artistes, I now paint and illustrate from my Devon studio … Atelier Avenda (the third) … overlooking the sea at Teignmouth. The first two Ateliers were galleries in France. My work as an artist, an actor and a publisher allows me that ultimate luxury of a life by the sea.

Lockdown curtailed my other love …

Following a study of drama, film and art, both at Exeter University and the University of California (Santa Barbara) I now have the Teign Estuary outside my studio balcony and the salt air blowing across my face. I still struggle to find a toned down palette more suited to Devon.