I can see myself as an emerging practitioner coming from an generation that had experienced being a child in the post war era and a baby boomer. Without a mother I was lost in a sea of despair and sadness. The saving grace was working in the company of editors, graphic artists and contributors to the world of publishing and campaigns. Somewhere I could escape from the fragile world that I lived in outside of work. My mother sat my brothers and sister and myself at the huge dining room table with a box of paints, paintbrushes and pencils every Saturday morning it was a ruse to keep us all quiet while my father slept (he worked at a national newspaper as a printer at night). He had very Victorian sympathies of children being seen but never heard. However, through the practice of drawing and painting I became somewhat good at it and many of my paintings were taken home by the teachers proclaiming I would one day be famous. I won a national road safety competition at the age of 13 or 14 for my poster-cum-painting of a person standing beside a motorcycle holding a crash helmet under his/her arm with the head still in it and a scarf flowing where the head had been. The idea came from an old Gracy Fields record my nan had which us kids use to play on her wind-up gramaphone in her back parlour. It was called 'With His Head Tucked Underneath His Arm'. With the prize money I bought myself a set of poster paints. There was very little money for anybody in those days and school felt like a punishment instead of a learning environment. Classrooms crowded to bursting with little or no teaching. The political stance was that women should have lots of children and stay at home to look after them. However when it came to educate these herds of children there were never enough trained teachers to do the job properly. I can't remember ever having a maths teacher. Very often the lesson was written in chalk on a rolling board and a monitor (one of the pupils) was put in charge of pulling it down but no teacher was in attendance. One would flit in between two classes to keep order and whack you with whatever was their preferred object of torture. So school proved to be a traumatic experience and a total disappointment. However I hung on to my art. Drawing and painting was my escape in every sense of the word. If anything or anyone upset me I'd make characters of them into evil beings. Work proved to be more successful and I discovered that outside of regimented organisations people are allowed to think and be themselves and more human. I believe mankind does not need such regimented systems in place - risk assessed environments and monitored controls of behaviour. Given the limited resources available we need to be given back the authority for our own actions and lives. Governments make so many tragic policies which have lasting disastrous consequences and the decisions made are not what the ordinary man in the street believes in. Our so called democratic system is not very democratic in the name of social order. We need to show there is a better way and social conscious and common sense is the byword on everyone's lips. Art has to convey this message in any form or medium it can.