1. If you wear makeup, why do you wear makeup and how often do you wear makeup?

I wear it when I go out - or when I feel like it - because I like how it changes my face, I wear a little tinted moisturiser but mostly just mascara. I think my eyelashes are too 'skinny' and need a bit of volume. I used to wear a lot of makeup for stage work so I quite like being 'nude'. Recently bought a Fuchsia pink lipstick because it made me feel powerful, and fun!

2. What made you want to participate in this portrait series?

As I head closer to 50 I am re evaluating what I do & what I want from life. I wanted to feel more physically alive and in tune with myself as I really am, so your project struck a chord. I also spend my life with young folk/teenagers & was curious to see how I looked to them.

3. Is being completely makeup free something that makes you feel in any way uncomfortable?

Not really, it's me how I am, but I was a little concerned about how it would look in 'media' as opposed to mirror at home!!

4. Are there specific factors (positive or negative) that have influenced how you feel about how you look?

I put on weight easily and often look larger in photos than I feel. I've spent hours looking at my face creating other faces from its canvas, stage work demands that so until recently I felt I did really know what I looked like. 

5. If there was one piece of advice for the future you could give your younger self, what would it be?

That she'd be ok, I think I have worried a great deal about not being good enough, even when I have been successful, and I'd like not to have done that, so I'm happy I can just 'be' now. 

6. When have you felt most empowered in your life?


7. Is there a woman fictional or real that you admire? Why?

My mother for her kindness, compassion and capability. My grandmothers, who were both very strong people-persons, and so supportive of me. I didn't think I had a role model growing up, I admired Annie Lennox & Chrissie Hynde but I didn't model myself on anyone consciously. Sometimes when I'm wondering what to do I ask myself what Madonna would do, she doesn't seem to have doubts, and I've been plagued with them...

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself? 

That I've never given up, I'm quite determined and tend to be able to do things if I set my mind to them. I'm also good at improvising when things don't go to plan. 

9. Is there an achievement you are particularly proud of? Why?

My physics O level. I still can't believe I passed it as numbers don't sit still for me. 
Professionally? Singing Woglinde at Longborough with two broken ribs.  

10. In daily life what are the pressures you feel most exposed to specifically as a woman?

Men don't seem to question their right to do, say or be as much as women. I still don't feel we are respected for our minds, e.g. Psychologies magazine has never featured a female scientist or writer on its front cover, it's as though we can't be heard unless we are 'beautiful' and then are not expected to be intelligent when we are. I love teaching boys to sing, they are great students as they work hard to gain a skill, girls work hard too, to please others. I think it's deeply imprinted if not gender intrinsic.