Terri has a first-class honours degree in ceramics. She has spent much of her life championing the arts in schools here in UK and has run art projects in Kenya and Nepal. She was awarded a Tate Modern prize for her Masters Degree entitled ‘The Identity Project’ in which she pioneered the questioning and challenging of first year A Level Art students in Britain about their artistic values and beliefs. It was a project that turned art education on its head and has since been incorporated into the National Curriculum.

Terri is a mother and a grandmother. She is a passionate lifelong learner, a teacher of 20 years (culminating in leading an academy in Norfolk). She is a Transformational Life Coach, a trainer and consultant. Terri is published writer and a passionate Painter.

Terri specialises in telling stories through her large oil paintings, and she has a lifetime of stories to draw on.  She and her two sisters were split up and brought up in care homes and with various foster families after both parents died in tragic circumstances.

Terri is exhibiting her own paintings, which pose deep psychological questions about memory that challenge peoples’ perceptions of childhood and adulthood.

My Story

For 30 years I wrestled with two opposing forces: a deep desire to paint, and the belief that I was not a painter, a label given to me in childhood. Instead I diverted my energy into ceramics, art therapy and teaching.

Painting after all those years is like throwing open the windows of an old, dark house and filling it with light and revitalising air.

I have always been fascinated by people. As an oil painter, I try to bring stories to life: many of my own, often personal, sometimes blended, and those that belong to other people. I have a deep desire to evoke emotion through my work, often using allegory, symbolism and metaphor.

When I start each new painting, I am aiming to capture the psychology of a person or situation, rather than creating a replica. I tend to draw from my own experiences of life – a passing thought, a memory or a story I’ve been telling myself for many years – in search of universal, human truths. The process is cathartic for me, assimilating my thoughts and expressing them onto canvas allows me to reassess experiences and situations.

My first collection of work stems from the first story of my life, following the death of my parents and separation from my sisters. It was a time of fear, loneliness and self-suppression. Through this work, I hope to stimulate reflection into the labels placed on us by others, as well as by ourselves. We metaphorically begin to wear masks, initially for protection or survival, and often to our detriment. These masks shape our lives, hiding and limiting our true purpose and potential. Yet behind the mask, who we really are is safe in incubation. In discovering who I really am, a painter, I have found the courage to remove my own mask.

In truth, I have always been a painter.