My time in Margate in the 90’s was a tough one. Margate was a bleakly dying little town with few job prospects. I quite honestly couldn’t wait to leave, but, little did I know I would return to live here. I didn’t move too far, however and I missed the place as the sea and the town’s quirkiness had the knack of pulling me back. My passion through Art college was I really wanted art to be accessible to all. I felt a bit of an outcast at college, like I didn’t really have the right to be there and always challenged that art seemed to be just for the elite and the middle class. I started to gradually curate art exhibitions in obscure places, an off-licence, a garden centre, restaurants, a train station and a gym. I also took over empty retail space to use for pop up exhibitions. My inspiration was to bring art to as many people as possible.
So, time went on I had a family and things paused. Although at the back of my mind I had an idea of an art company that would fuse artists, workshops, community and places together in a collaboration of exchange. SquirrelARTS was just around the corner. The name… a funny story, my father whose English is very good but with a strong accent wanted to nick name me squirrel when I was a child. The reason, I hated eating meat and I would store it in my cheeks so when my parents were not looking, I could spit it out. He likened it to a squirrel storing nuts in their cheeks…. He still can’t pronounce squirrel, so I have the name Esquee to thank him for. Lucky Me! So, when I met my partner, he told me about how his dissertation at college was about the decline of the red squirrel! Voila: