About the Artist
Gabrielle was born in 1950 in Hertfordshire. Her artistic training started at Hitchin Technical College in 1967 which she attended after leaving the Girls Grammar School that had been very academic and where artistic occupation was frowned upon. She gained A level Art in just one year's study at the Technical College and she was advised to bypass the O level when she began to excel in her studies.That was a mistke she would discover later that another year's study at this point would have been really beneficial .
Her next move was to attend St. Alban's School of Art where she missed out the Foundation Course and completed the 1 year Pre-Diploma course. The following year she was accepted into Exeter College of Art's Degree Course in 1969. At the end of the first year there Gabrielle was required to choose a specialist subject, but with just two year's experience of taster sessions in all subjects, that decision was too difficult to make, especially as she seemed to have an aptitude for all of the disciplines. It was further complicated by each of her tutors urging specialisation in their own one.
Gabrielle left Exeter College intending to return after a year or so when she had had time to practice and consider her aptitude, but as silly as young women are at that age, she met and married a farmer and had three children in quick succession and any thoughts of returning to college were well and truly shelved for the time being.
In the interim years she had spent quite an interesting life growing and selling potatoes at the farm gate, making furniture from the plentiful supplies of elm that was being felled all around, and even making a career of buying and selling livestock to augment her income from the farm that she was by this time running on her own, as well as looking after her three strapping teenage children. It took until her youngest was 16 before she finally returned to the arts and she was able to attend College again.
She was living in West Wales by this time and being tied to the area with children in school, she attended CCTA in Carmarthen in 1992 and studied HND ceramics, the highest qualification they could offer as they had not yet been awarded degree status. Going back to the Arts was like being freed from the starting gate and she has never looked back
Her decision had eventually been made. Mosaics and tiling seemed to incorporate all the disciplines and would be complicated enough to keep her interested for evermore. That was truer than she could possibly have imagined at the time, and now twenty years on, despite her well practised expertise, the complexities still confound at times.