Biography of Angela Dierks

"My background as an artist is somewhat unusual. I graduated from King's College London with a BA German and followed this with MSt in European Literature at St Cross College, University of Oxford, in 1992. My first love has always been the written word. Over the years I developed a strong interest in the world of therapy having studied psychoanalytic readings of texts as part of my MSt. I started studying for a Counselling degree and completed an MA Integrative Counselling in 2009 followed by further courses in the field of psychotherapy and counselling. Both literature and psychotherapy continue to inform my work as an artist. While I never formally studied art I had been exploring different forms of expression - beyond language - for several years. The world of therapy opened up an exploration of the unconscious processes that painting helped me to access. The other, most obvious, connection between the profession of therapist and artist is the preoccupation with emotions. In my therapeutic work I talk about emotions; in my art I aim to translate emotions into visual markers on canvas.

Much of my earlier and more recent work is influenced by my psychotherapy training; the pieces were concerned with memories and dreams peeling away at them layer by layer. The other, constant focus of inspiration for me is the natural world which I return to at regular intervals in my work. More recently I started to be more pre-occupied with the internal world again. As a child I was fascinated by maps, copying the contours of continents and colouring in the different countries. In my latest work I am returning to this childhood love by painting imaginary maps of external and internal worlds, taking us to places that are "not down on any map; true places never are.” (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)