(or "Hi There")
Born 1975 in Christchurch, NZ to a Scottish father and Kiwi mother,
(making me a 'Skiwi') I came to Scotland in 2003 to find my extended family,
discover my Scottish roots and to continue exploring my artistic career.
Music has always featured strongly on both sides of my family with my
father, mother and brother all involved in various aspects of music and theatre,
an award winning cousin in the New Zealand music scene and my great grandfather
a well renowned member of the Forfar Operatic Society.
My first ever performance was as the Virgin Mary at Woodend Primary
at the tender age of eight. From there it was school choirs, school productions and
concerts until 1988 when I was cast in the North Canterbury Musical Society's
amateur production of "Annie". That marked the beginning of a strong involvement
with the Society, where I went on to do seven more shows and numerous reviews.
It was there, while playing the narrator in Joseph and The AmazingTechnicolour
Dreamcoat in 1993 that I found out that I had been cast as Snow White in a
professional Australian production touring New Zealand for four months.
On my return, and after much wise guidance from my friends and family,
I decided to put aside plans of University and a career in psychology and further my
training in the arts. Later that year I was accepted into the inaugaral year at the
(National) Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts although I was till two years below
the age criteria. Over the next two years I was fortunate to be tutored by some truly
incredible and well renowned figures in their fields, an experience I am thankful for
to this day.
After graduating in 1995 I went on to work in Dunedin at the Fortune
Theatre, in Christchurch at the Court Theatre, and independently in television, radio,
theatre, corporate entertainment, music, short films and training.
But one of my more unusual but most satisfying roles came about when I
crossed paths with a well known Funeral Director in North Canterbury, a musician
himself who, over the years, would become a very dear friend of mine. Through
working with him I became an official "Funeral Singer"and for the next six years, on
and off, I was priveleged to work with several Canterbury funeral firms as a singer
and celebrant. Another experience I will be forever grateful for.
In 2003, I took the leap and moved my life to Scotland, spending six
and a half months working as a waitress and barmaid in Aberdeen,
before settling in Glasgow. In my time here I have found people to be incredibly
friendly and welcoming, while the music scene is rich and varied with many
opportunities for a singer/songwriter such as myself.
In fact it was moving to Glasgow that led me to becoming a songwriter
in the first place. My partner convinced me to go along to a folk session at one of the
local bars, where I discovered a wealth of traditional music and loads of talented
musicians. It soon became apparent that after many years as an actress, singer
and poet I was going to have to teach myself the guitar again, something I hadn't
really played since I was 11. Beacuse I had never had an instrument other than
my voice, I had never thought to turn my poetry into songs, and it was the
kind lending of my partner's guitar and my father's 60th birthday in 2005 that
inspired me to try. Since then not a day goes by that I don't write a line, a verse
or an entire song, though I still love covering songs by my favourite musicians.
So while my musical career was growing and changing I was aware that
I needed to 'augment' my income (as all musicians experience at some time in even
the most flourishing career). So, having received some encouraging comments about my artwork
from friends and family, I decided to start painting again.
Again, I hadn't really put brush to paper for about 5 years, so in effect
I was learning from scratch. I found it incredibly liberating as it allowed me to change
mediums from acrylic and paper to oil and canvas. I also felt more free to experiment
with subject matter, meaning I could delve into my spirituality and New Zealand
roots. Art has been an absolute life saver allowing me space to escape from the pressures
of the musical world while reconnecting to my visual-arts roots.