The Christmas holiday has given us the opportunity to look at some of our old sketchbooks, going back nearly 40 years to when we both studied Fine Art at Reading University. In 1987, a few years after I graduated, we lived in St Albans and I taught part-time at a nearby Steiner School. Cycling to and from the school, I came across an area of dense woodland, a space which, in effect, became my studio for a period. These drawings in crayon and pencil were made there and coming across them has reminded me of how strongly I have been drawn to the primordial, dark spaces of forests since childhood.
In 1985 Gillian was in her final year at Reading University. Alongside making a series of wall mounted structures in wood and paper, drawing and printmaking were central elements of her practice. These small scale monoprints were made in 1985 as a way of exploring the abstract elements of structure, line and form, still a central themes in her recent painting.