My more recent works reveal more about not seeing the full picture. My inspiration coming from the love of Japanese art and calligraphy, the colours and vast skies and landscapes of Southern England, juxtaposed with my experiences growing up in the 80’s/90’s, via the dishevelled buildings and forgotten spaces layered in graffiti (hidden gems of time gone by).
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 coloration 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: