Born in Paris, raised (consciousness) in South America, USA and
Europe. Was happily married to Argentine-born British/Canadian potter
Reg Dixon then I left. Have lived in London ever since and have dual nationality,
British/American. My father was Russian, my mother French. You can see
my parents' picture and read about my outlook in Natalie's Bike Ride to
Clarity. Art education in Paris, New York, San Miguel Allende, Mexico
and London. Many part-time jobs including: sales assistant, window-display
designer, hotel receptionist, theatre box-office, filmscript writer, editor,
fringe theatre performer, co-director of the Centre for the Imagination
(London 1980's). But my main self-supporting activity, apart from art,
has been teaching in adult education: drawing, painting, printmaking,
problem-solving. It's my conviction, supported by experience, that every
individual regardless of age, background or education has some unique
creative ability which can be encouraged, developed and in some cases
become the driving force in their lives. In London I taught at Camden
Arts Centre, the City Literary Institute and Stanhope Institute. I was
visiting Professor of Art at Colorado College, Colorado Springs and lectured
at American and European institutions. I give workshops/talks on aspects
of creativity and on my own work.
Bike Ride for Clarity
Caught Red-handed in
7 Steps of
I want to put a stop, right now, to a repetitious
pattern of thought that has plagued me for a long time. Before I can say
'CUT!', however, I must precisely define and describe it. If I don't,
there will be bits left over which will grow and start bugging me all
over again. The operation must be clean and thorough. Let me start like
a doctor, by listing the symptoms:
1. Feeling of being unheard, unseen.
2. Feeling that my work is being marginalised.
3. Feeling that if I don't keep reminding people of my achievements, my
loveability, my talents, they will forget me altogether.
4. Feeling of anger and impatience that I have to keep doing this humiliating
self-promotion even after all these years of demonstrating my talents.
5. Feeling anxious each time there is a silence, a delay, a lack of response
- even if it is insignificant, like someone not replying immediately to
an enthusiastic letter.
6. Feeling all of the above as a great big accumulation of examples arising
over and over in my life, on the emotional as well as the practical and
the professional level, relegating me to the fringe,condemning me to a
limbo, neither in total darkness or in full light.
7. Feeling unwilling to compete agressively in the marketplace, whether
for career, material gain or social standing. Taking the 'I don't give
a damn' stance but in fact, feeling left out.
8. Knowing full well that the above repetitious pattern is unhealthy,
unhelpful and self-defeating but feeling trapped within it.
This is what I came up with. I'm the glowing jewel inside the box, shining
all alone. It doesn't look so bad. Maybe I was seeing as a handicap a
state that is necessary to achieve some sort of inner glow? What if I
were to consider my isolation as a blessing rather than a problem? And
what if, instead of trying to cure it, I would work on polishing the jewel
so it glows more brightly
This transformation of the first image gave me a peculiar
feeling that I was making the changes within myself rather than merely
in the picture. It was a matter of turning the blocks into streams flowing
into me so that I could use them, instead of being trapped and controlled
by them. I also got different feelings from each of the four major influences:
Viewed as streams rather than blocks: Father is an airy opening into distant
space. Brother is a book-like study of links. Mother is interior space.
Sister is a projection towards others. Ancient Ancestors appear to be
a source of inspiration, while recent ancestors provide a base.
This is what came up when
I tried to visualise my heritage and character, without being too analytical
about it. Sometimes this kind of improvised image works better than words
because it tells you things you didn't expect. What I read in it is that
my freedom of expression is confined and controlled by influences around
me, boxed in by them. This is an accurate depiction of what I experience
emotionally - a sense of powerlessness. As if any move I make which is
not within these boundaries will distort everything, throw it into chaos.
I know that this picture is imaginary and that it is is I who gives power
to any influence but nevertheless, it's what shapes my behaviour. So if
I want to make changes they must be changes
in the above picture. Past and Present Influences are still some
kind of noise-barrier which appears to distract or prevent my hearing
messages clearly. IS ALL THIS COMPLETELY CRAZY AND A WASTE OF TIME OR
AM I MAKING SENSE??????? ?????????