Born at a military hospital in Louth, Lincolnshire, UK.The youngest of three sons of polish refugees who, amongst thousands of polish families, were granted citizenship in Great Britain, at the end of the second world war.The family were housed at an RAF camp, just outside the village of Sutton on the Forest, near the beautifull City of York, in North Yorkshire.
The first 12 years of my life were spent living in this strange polish environment yet situated in the heart of the most beautifull County of North Yorkshire. This camp was one of many temporary locations used to settle post war refugee families, with a view to rehousing and integrating them into the wider community. Although the rehousing process would take many years, my brothers and I integrated naturaly and quickly, as soon as we entered the education system starting with primary school.
Despite their poverty, the polish people were self sufficient, industrious, versatile,tolerant and committed Roman Catholics.All of the families were survivors of the horrors of war, however many were survivors of the horrors of death camps, concentration camps, prisoner of war camps, siberian work settlements. Many displayed visible physical and/or mental signs of their suffering.Many had lost members of their families, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, some had lost children on the way out of captivity and did not know where their children were or if in fact they were alive!The community was frail,especially the military men, those who fought with the allies, these were feeling the after effects of the war,sadly my father was one of those frail casualties, he died when I was aged 7years old.
Death was a regular occurance at the RAF camp, the open expression of acute grief and loss at a funeral, etched the mark of its energy and its pure raw sorrow, in my impressionable young heart & mind.
The community revolved around the Polish Catholic Church, the Holy calendar, and the pastoral activities headed by a wonderful polish priest who, also a survivor of war camps,during captivity had on more than one occassion offered himself for death instead of his brothers and sisters, such was his belief and faith in God.,may he rest in gods peace & love RIP.
It is this committed belief in God of the polish community and in particular that of my mother, that had presented me with the perfect example to follow, that of the life of Jesus Christ.
As I grew up I had no idea that this pure introduction to Jesus Christ would become my inspiration for any art work I would undertake.