Commissioned Artist – Jackie Waddell
I was born more years ago than I care to remember. We lived by the sea on the Essex coast. I spent my formative years messing about on the beaches, drawing giant pictures in the sand at low tide, grubbing about by the breakwaters, crabbing from the groins and collecting interesting things from the beach to make little sculptures and pictures out of. I was always drawing or making something or other. I moved to Wiltshire in my mid twenties and for a while I had a little shop that I rented, where I made and sold my own pottery. Unfortunately I had to give up the shop and follow a more mainstream career path, one that sadly, had little or no opportunity for me to be able to use my artistic skills. In 2012 I was offered a job that would get me away from offices, computers and telephones and allow me to finally work with my hands creating things. I accepted the job, and so, for the last six and a half years, I have been earning my living as a professional taxidermist. Although this was a job that allowed me to use all of my sculpting, crafting and design skills, it was quite a surreal and sometimes conflicting thing to find myself doing, as one of the other huge fascinations and loves of my life is animals. During the last couple of years, I have also been working with a charitable foundation, on a collection of limited edition whale sculptures, to be cast in bronze. I was made redundant in February this year, which for some people may have been quite scary. However, for me, the timing couldn’t be better, as it is allowing me to do what I want to do artistically. Finally I am in a position to make and create what I want to and to be able to get involved with exciting creative projects, which is why I am here, working with the wonderful DOCA team.