I grew up in and around Buxton, Derbyshire. Since being a teenager, I have suffered from tremors, which meant that I couldn’t hold my hands still, or a camera. I used to hide the shakes from people, claiming that I was cold, which was fine in winter but didn’t work in the height of summer. Perhaps not knowing, or more likely denying that I had a problem, I wasn’t well for 20 years. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed me with essential tremor. He gave me medication that stopped the tremor, which was great. The shakes, however, masked an even worse problem, I would fly into a frightening and at times violent rage, often reducing family, friends, colleagues, or strangers to tears. I also found that I had strange hallucinations, that manifest themselves and sinister figures and shadows and flashes of light. I couldn’t stand loud and sudden noises or busy places and would shut myself off from society for days, even weeks at a time. I also had frightening night terrors and sleep paralysis. I took a large overdose in 2015 and was diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. I could no longer work and was prescribed medication to curb the symptoms. During my recovery my life stopped, other than my photography, and although I didn’t realise it at the time created a vast body of work that documents, first-hand my feelings and observations, through varying degrees of alertness and consciousness, from the chaos and calamity of bad days to the tranquillity of calm of the good. In the confines of these conditions, on the bad days, I am unable to hold a camera still, drive a car, or walk around in public alone, limiting me to photographing as a passenger, my work pulls back the curtain and reveals different visions of space, identity, and individuality through my eyes. Despite being mentally ill, or perhaps because I am mentally ill, I have completed an FdA in Photography, BA (Hons) Photography, and PGDip Fine Art.
Now that I have discovered the joys of painting every day, I have found a new freedom, enabling me to paint what a camera can’t see. My studies may have finished but I continue to churn out work every day, which include photographs and paintings, that explore isolation, loneliness, barriers, and emotions along with the demons that hide mockingly in the background waiting to torment me once more.