Self Portrait: 1986( N.F.S.)

This work was shown in the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, The Nottingham Castle Gallery; The Graves Gallery, Sheffield in Women and Art and Leeds City Art Gallery between 1984 and 1986.I  produced it all very spontaneously and was surprised that it was popular. Reading Jacqueline Rose's Sexuality in the Field of Vision  I realized my work was seen from a Freudian view point, and hence the interest! This had not been my conscious intention, and I realized that its content of a female/maternal figure + a famous 'performer' I had onve known, had been inspired 15 years beforehand in 1970. 
I decided to look at the art work of other cultures and became a student on a two year part-time course on Native American Culture in London. It was a life saving experience to realise that that art had a broader role than the the one we subscribe to in our unique 'Western ' way. Art could have a technological role and be part of ritual and ancient  Shamanic 'belief systems'. Whilst my interest was purely 'academic' the studies I made encouraged a more pragmatic view of my role as an artist. Ironically, I was happiest when I was at the beginning of something new and not in the role of producing work that had become my 'style'.
It was a time of evaluating the role of art education to which I was then contributing as a lecturing at Chesterfield College of Art. Perhaps it was time to take a step outside of this process too; I was moving towards the view that art students really  "taught themselves", and that art teaching, at that foundational stage, was not of great benefit to the students, except as 'technical input'. I had considered such a 'sideways' step for several months before making any concrete decisions, and continued making work that posed more questions than answers .

Self Portrait :1985- taken from image made in 1970