I've been running my own art gallery on the waterside at Gloucester Docks for about six months. Local people drop in, but the summer season is about to start so things are getting busier with tourists who are looking around the Docks now. They come into the gallery, look at my paintings of the Docks and say 'Where's that? Where's that?' so I've started using one of the Trust's maps of the Docks to point out where things are.
I trained in fine art around ten years ago at the Open College of the Arts and the paintings exhibited in the gallery are a collection of my work. I also run art classes and events such as hen parties from the gallery.
I think people get something special from an art class by the water. They get lots of inspiration from the water and everything they can see here - boats, waterfowl, bridges and historic buildings in the urban landscape.
My connection with the canal goes back to my grandfather, Ben Manley. He used to do the boats here, making trips down the canal to Cadbury's with the chocolate crumb. Then after he did the boats, he was a docker here. I think he would have been well known here in the docks. Myndblue Gallery is housed in the historic Docks overlooking the Main Docks Basin where my grandfather worked, so I'd say there's definitely a family connection for me here.
Janice, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal