‘I have never known any distress, which an hour’s painting did not relieve’
I have been painting almost all my life. I was born in 1954 in Grenada, in the West Indies but came to live in Manchester in 1960.
I went to Birley High School, where I spent most of my school days in the art room and exhibited my early work in the Hulme project at the Refuge building. I was prevented from going to art school due to a three year battle with TB throughout 1972-74, but I continued to paint.
I moved to Hertfordshire in 1985 and held exhibitions at the Letchworth Museum & Art Gallery and ‘The Place’ for Art.
I have done several commissions for 18th birthday paintings in which I interpret the person’s character in an abstract or surreal style. In 2000 I exhibited again, at The Cut, Llewellyn Alexander gallery in London.
At present, I live in Surrey and am a member of the Camberley Art society.2006 was a very busy time for me as I had three exhibitions running over half of the year, Manchester dukes '92'. London Throgmortons' and Barcelona Sala Barna.
My work is about my ethnicity, love, frustrations, the joys of motherhood and a celebration of womanhood. I paint both abstract and surrealism in acrylic on canvas. My palette consists of only five colours - ultramarine, cadmium yellow, cadmium red titanium white and burnt umber - to convey a raw intensity. I never use black as find it too stark and instead opt for ultramarine to achieve additional depth.
These photographs of my work can be found on www.essemel.com (please click on web link)
Artist's Location: Surrey, .