I was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1969 and bought up in a single parent family in North Bedfordshire. As a child I was a ballroom and disco dancing devotee and travelled around England on weekends with my dance partner, taking part in competitions at Crystal Palace, Leicester Ballroom and Hammersmith Palais. I was awarded over 50 plaques, a number of medals and a trophy for my enthusiasm. My teen Saturday jobs included working as a door-to-door salesperson for Betterware and serving customers in the local shop. Between 1983 and 1988 I had a Junior Scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and traveled to London every Saturday to study singing. During my time at the Guildhall I was introduced to the work of John Cage and had the epiphany that I wanted to become an artist.
Careers advice at school was limited to getting a job as a cashier in a local bank, and my family and teachers had no experience of anyone going to art school. I made my first performances while on art foundation at Mander College, Bedford and did my BA at Middlesex University (1989-1992) and a bursary enabled me to study for a Higher Postgraduate Diploma at The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (1992-94) where I was taught by Lis Rhodes and Stuart Brisley. In 1994 I was awarded a DAAD scholarship and went to work in the class of Marina Abramovic at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) in Hamburg after which I was the recipient of a Stanley Burton practice-based PhD scholarship at the University of Leeds, completing one of the first practice-based PhDs in 2001.
Known for making performance, my broad ranging work explores humour, subjectivity, documentary practices and fiction. I create performances, interventions, music and texts and have made work in nightclubs, shops, on trains and marches as well as for the concert hall or gallery. I often work in a range of media including photography, video, textiles and sound. In 2011 I declared myself self-appointed artist-in-residence in the City of London and wrote the novella Common which drew together the social, economic and ecological crises.
I'm a current recipient of an Art360 award for artists. Art360 is an organisation that supports the safeguarding of artists legacies and I have been working to organise my physical archives and digitise key works, with a view to preserve tapes and capture information from formats that may shortly be no longer accessible.