I was born in 1953. My Father an English/Irish poet and my mother a Russian/German Jew who fled Koln Germany when the Nazi’s made living there too hot. My Father comes from a line of writers (George Barker was his Uncle) and painters. He co founded the Arvon Foundation with his great pal John Moat. My Mothers’ lineage is of dance, music and architecture, her mother and father being Lotte and Ernest Berk. So I guess my brother Jo and I had no chance but to end up in the arts. Jo has gone on to make a very successful career in public art, holography and virtual reality whilst I have pursued the public domain.
Since leaving Newport art college in 1980 I have worked as a sculptor and by default (as it entered the vocabulary) a public artist, this has taken me to another new name that of lead artist, what I shall end up only the powers inventing names will know, suffice to say creativity is at the heart of all this.
Meagre beginnings at a secondary modern school in Berkshire with my only desire being that of playing for Chelsea (then unfashionable and incapable of winning two games on the trot). I left school at sixteen confused and uneducated (in the normal sense). Being raised by loving parents in a thatched cottage in a wood with a great brother more than made up for the discrepancy of education. By the time I reached 23 Jo had already started art college and I had been through a number of jobs to raise money to take time off, travel, go to as many pop concerts as possible and relax!! Jo meantime was having a ball at art college and suggested I should apply as he thought I might enjoy it. I resigned from Rumbelows, brought myself some art materials and worked away, (meantime applying to all the art colleges by the sea) Portsmouth was the first to reply. And, as they say, the rest is history. I got in and my life suddenly made sense. Painting , sculpting, reading, learning and playing, this was 1976/77 and punk was hitting the scene and being at college was a great place to be. From Portsmouth to Newport Gwent (I thought that was by the sea when I looked at the map, umm what a surprise that was). Newport was incredibly vibrant in those days and a million miles away from the rural idyll I was raised in.
I left college, moved to Berkshire near my parents, married and had a daughter Vanessa, life changed. I worked in the woods around me and this formed the building blocks to the aesthetic that runs through my veins, working with the site, with the materials around me, creating a visual coherence with the environment. Life changes, I decided to create art in its place, sculptural trails were beginning to get off the ground and work flowed, an itinerent lifestyle around the country began. I have work throughout the British Isles, working for numerous arts organisations, county councils, borough councils and district councils during the last 25 years, some work still remains and some has nestled back into the ground.
I have since remarried and have two more children Billie-Daisy and Solomon. I have also brought a 10 acre woodland near where I live in Somerset. This has been a great joy and inspiration to me. When I can, I seek solace amongst the great oaks, the red soil and the pudding stone whilst the buzzards and ravens wheel above me.