Born in Berlin, Germany I have been interested in and surrounded by art all my life. My father, Eddy Smith*, was a German artist of English extraction who was well-known for his powerful, subversive copper-etchings and portraits of Berlin society figures in pre-and post-war Germany. And, although his paintings, etchings and drawings were always there for me to see, and I was always drawing, I did not really get serious about art until much later. This is because I was not in a position to get serious about my art until the advanced age of forty-five. I had travelled and lived in six different countries on four different continents (Europe, Africa, South America, and North America) before settling in England some twenty years ago. As a young mother and later as a working mother, I attended a variety of evening and extra-mural courses and summer courses to explore life drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and textile design. I always knew that I wanted more than this but it wasnt until 1999 that I finally took the plunge and quit my well-paying, high-pressured job as a software sales exec for an American company to enroll in a one year, full-time foundation course in Art and Design at the University of Hertfordshire. This exiting and exhilarating course opened so many doors and possibilities for me that I hadn't even known existed that I decided to embark upon the part-time BA Hons. Fine Arts Degree course-a step I had previously not seriously considered.
* I organised a retrospective of his work at Galerie Taube, Berlin in March 2001.http://www.galerie-taube.de/ausstellungen/177/home.htm
In my work I attempt to capture the essence of things - places and houses lived in long ago whose vivid colours and smells, whose windows and doorways have lingered at the edge of my memory. I explore the relationship between the reality of the place or object and the imagined reality, in order to transform often quite ordinary images so that they become exotic and mysterious. I try to create an illusion, a feeling of heightened awareness in my images which in their final version often bear no resemblance to the original but have become enhanced and imbued with a dreamlike quality. Our memories too work like that we often see past events and places in our minds eye in an enhanced way, and give them qualities they never really had.My paintings and digital work also reflect my interest in lines and symmetry, in mark making, colour, textures and layers. In my work I use a variety of media such as inks, oils, household paint and acrylics. I work on paper, card and canvas. When I make use of digital imagery I sometimes fuse a digitally created image or old photograph with one or several of my paintings, to arrive at an image which incorporates the essence of what a particular place or memory holds for me.
Between 1980 1996:Academy of Fine Arts, Paramaribo, SurinameCommercial Design Course, The Hague, HollandExtra Mural Courses in Life Drawing, Ceramics & Textile Design at the University of Hertfordshire1999 2000:Full time Access Course in Art & Design, University of Hertfordshire2000 2003:Fine Art Degree Course, University of Hertfordshire
Exhibitions:January March 2003Graphics Plus Art Gallery, St. AlbansMarch April 2003Stanmore Library, Stanmore (Group Exhibition 3rd Year Fine Art BA show)July 24 - 27, 2003Business Design Centre, Islington, Paint a Postcard Competition, Artists & Illustrators Exhibition. August Sept 2003Contemporary Art Exhibition & Sale Group Show,Galleria, HatfieldNov. Dec. 2003Fovea Take Away Fovea Gallery, HarrowDecember 20032nd Contemporary Art Exhibition & Sale, Galleria, Hatfield Nov December 2004Fovea Take Away Fovea Gallery, HarrowMay 28 30, 2005Contemporary Art & Sculpture Fair, Artshed Gallery, WareJune August 2005Exhibition of Work, Artshed Gallery, WareSept 22 30, 2005Passionately Pink Charity Exhibition, Artshed Gallery, WareSept 30 2 Oct 2005Home Design & Interiors Exhibition, Knebworth House, KnebworthFebruary 2006Wish you were here Postcard Show, Artshed Gallery, WareApril 29 1 May 2006Artshed Open Art Exhibition, WareJune 7 July 30 2006Courtyard Summer Open Exhibition, The Courtyard Arts Centre, HertfordCurrent Exhibitions:Sept 1 Nov 30, 2006Exhibition of Work, Artshed Gallery WareJuly December 2006Exhibtion of Work (Group) East Herts Council Offices, Wallfield House,
October – Nov 2007 Joint show w. Mike Hinc and Jenny Wilson at the Courtyard, Hertford Jan 2 – 12 Feb 2008 Solo exhibition at The Carpenter’s Arms, Great Wilbraham, Cambs.
March 28 – 5 June 2008 Solo exhibition at Needhams Restaurant & Art Gallery, Witchford, Cambs.
May 2008 Open Art Fair, Artshed, Ware
May 2008 Annual Summer Show, Courtyard Gallery, Hertford (won 2nd prize)
Jan 10 – Feb 8 2009 Group Exhibition at Artshed in Ware
April – May 2009 Artshed 4th Annual Open Art Competition
May 2009 Courtyard Arts Open Exhibition and Film Festival
Dec 2009 – Jan 2010 Artshed Open Art Exhibition
February 5 – 7 2010 Mayor’s Charity Art Exhibition 2010, St. Albans
May 14 – June 12 2010 Exhibition of Work at the New Maynard Gallery,(small group show) in WGC
December 8 – 23 2010 Hertfordshire Open Exhibition 2010, Margaret Harvey Gallery
May – August 2011 “Art at 88” New Art Shop/Gallery in Berkhamsted
October 7 – 9, 2011 Art Fair, Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley
Dec 10 – Jan 4, 2012 Hertfordshire Open Exhibition 2011*
• Won the St. Albans Prize (Awarded by St. Albans District Council
Jan 16 – March 30 2012 Annual Open Exhibition 2012, Bishops Stortford College
April 4 – April 21 2012 Courtyard Arts Open Exhibition Hertford