My professional career began in 1985 as a commercial artist in Germany where I was born. I worked in advertising for 7 years when an increasing desire for a deeper understanding of human nature led me into psychology and I enrolled at the University of Bremen, Germany where I graduated in 1999.
After university I decided to leave Germany for a voluntary year at a retreat centre in London. At the centre I met an artist who encouraged me to take up painting and introduced me to Quakers. I got interested in the Quaker practice of ‘listening within’. It reminded me of the healing gift of silence and inner stillness I had experienced on silent meditation retreats before. I started working as a warden at the Quaker Meeting House in Forest Hill, London in 2001, and painting became my main creative outlet.
From 2002 until 2006 I trained as a Psychosynthesis counsellor, a transpersonal model that embraces our potential – what we may be – as a dimension we can actively work with and invite into our lives. During this training I discovered the powerful work with imagery. Images are like doorways to the hidden parts in ourselves. They can unlock energy that is able to transform blocks into stepping stones. Inspired by this I started painting much closer to my personal experience using the images that emerged from it as a creative guide. It was also the beginning of running workshops and retreats using art as vehicle for self-exploration and discovery.
Over the years this work has been supported by other practices such as dancing the 5 Rhythms and working with movement to access the wisdom of the body. This more active process is complemented by the stillness of silent meditation and writing as a tool to connect intuitive insights with the thinking mind.
In 2010 I left the Quakers and London to fully step into self-employment. I studied and worked as a freelance teacher at Tobias School of Art & Therapy in East Grinstead, West Sussex, trained with Michael Ganß, Medical School Hamburg, Germany to work with the elderly with dementia, and ran creative workshops, retreats and art groups in various places in England.
Since 2015 my home has been in the beautiful seaside town of Folkestone, Kent, where a thriving art community gradually turns its reputation of a rundown deprived area into a creative hub. The years 2016-18 were dominated by refurbishing the house that is now my home. Since the major work is done, space is opening up to turn my attention back to art. After many years of painting I’ve discovered my love for wire and have branched out into making jewellery and small sculptures from recycled materials and found objects. I love things with a (hi)story, I feel it gives them soul and that touches and inspires me.
“Creativity is being in the world soulfully, for the only thing we truly make, whether in the arts, in culture or at home, is soul.”