Whilst I was in Mexico I started getting into a couple of jewellers who were also artists, just buying their stuff. Then I saw this course and just thought I'll just have a go, just for fun. My Spanish at the time was not good so even though it's a very visual thing I missed a lot of the explanation, I didn't really get it. I was just silent, making gestures to try and understand.
I would describe it as energetic. I try to make the piece striking as I can. I use quite rich colours and I don’t really water the paint down. I kind of use the richness of it to make it stand out. It’s quite thick, textured paint. I build up layers from thinner to thicker and I literally get to the point where I’m just taking it out of the tube - no thinning out of the paint, just putting it on there.
I know right? Singing over a candle lit dinner, with my Spanish Guitar. She’s just like ‘mate what are you doing? We’re having a deliveroo, put the guitar away’. Na yeah, she’s my main inspiration but politics inspires me too - and other musicians. A band I’ve been listening to recently is Idles and the lyrics are so tongue in cheek, like ‘I kissed a guy and I liked it’ but it’s spinning ideals on their head and saying ‘it’s ok for men not to be masculine’ and talking about things like never seeing his father cry which is just so powerful. And behind all that it’s kinda punk.
I have an example that stuck with me. I did a job, I won’t say with who, but on day one we all met up and one of the writers said that she couldn’t understand what I was saying ‘half of the time’ because of my accent. I went away and just sobbed and I felt I didn’t deserve to be there. It was my husband, who is absolutely not in the industry whatsoever at all, who just said to me ‘No. You have just the same right as her to be there’. It was from the moment I just knew, you can’t give other people the power.
We did our R&D at Stratford East and at the end we did a Q&A for a bit of feedback. At the end, we had a lady put her hand up and ask if she could say something. It’s then that she told us - “I’m going through this right now. My daughter was born a boy, she’s transitioning, we’re a really working class family, we don’t know anyone who is gay, let alone trans” and then she said that she could relate to the Mum of the play, even though it was set in the 80’s. We said to ourselves after, if that does that to one person then our work here is done.