Tina Neale works as a secretarial assistant in the Capital, Estates and Facilities team at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. However, she is also a very talented artist who recently displayed work in the Hearth Gallery’s Winter Open exhibition.
Her piece, Bumble Peeps – Lazy Days, (oil on canvas, pictured) was one of the highlights of the exhibition which attracted a lot of attention and eventually sold. Here Tina explains her artistic career in her own words.
“I started to create art work in the late 1990’s completing my ANVQ in 2000. At the time I had three children and worked around their schedules from home, utilising space in the family home whenever I was making for a show. I also worked part time as a Health Care Assistant in our local Community hospital. In 2009 I came to Cardiff to undertake a Master’s degree in Ceramics and graduated in 2010. Focusing on Ceramic Sculpture work, I have attend Artist in residencies and demonstrated my work in conferences and workshops in the UK and abroad. During the years between 2010 and 2014 I was lucky enough to travel to America and Canada, to take part in residencies, one of these was a prize as part of my Emerging Makers Award in 2013.
“When I came to Cardiff I continued to work as a Health Care Assistant on the nursing bank in many of the wards and sites across Cardiff. I found the work rewarding although it could be challenging and sometimes emotionally draining, but my art work always gave me balance. I feel very lucky to have found a passion in life that gives me a lot of happiness, and has allowed me to travel and gain some truly amazing experiences. Life has taken a different turn for me over the last 4 years and I had to take a back step from my art work for personal reasons. Three years ago I took full time work in C&V as a Secretarial assistant. I hope to find more time to do my work in the future, for now I always have something creative on the go weather it is a sculpture or paintings. My themes have varied over the years but I love the figure and really enjoy making work with a human element.
“When the Heath Gallery opened I was invited to exhibit my work there and took part in a group exhibition and a show based around the subject of Dementia and mental fragilities. They have been a fantastic support to me and it is lovely to be able to share some new and ongoing work with all the visitors, patients and staff. There has been some wonderful feedback from this exhibition, with one patient emailing me to let me know how much she loved my piece and how visiting the gallery gave her so much joy. I am proud to have exhibited in the Hearth Gallery as it is a wonderful facility and the staff have created a fantastic program of events and exhibitions. A true place of solace.”
Geoff Walsh, Director of the Capital, Estates and Facilities service board, said, “Tina has worked for Capital, Estates and Facilities for the last 4 years and I first became aware of her artwork when she exhibited a piece at Hafan Y Coed. This was followed by her exhibition in The Hearth Gallery, which demonstrated the broad artistic talent she has, but talks little about as she is not one to “blow her own trumpet”. Her latest piece has caught the imagination of those of us who are perhaps, less appreciative of the arts generally, which is testament to her ability.
“A dedicated member of the team, who’s work ethic is unquestionable and clearly these attributes are evident when Tina produces a piece of ceramic art, a painting or a drawing. A talent that she should be immensely proud of and shouting about from the roof tops.
“I am extremely proud to shout out that Tina works on my team.”