I took that painting with me. As it happened, the UK Ambassador for France was there.

“I grew up in London. My mother was Irish, an immigrant nurse just after the Second World War. Irish nurses and medical conversations were the norm around our kitchen table. She used to tell me about her training in London and all the stories about being one of the young girls coming over from Ireland and starting life in a county that could’ve been quite hostile to them at times. She was always a heroic figure in my mind. I used to listen to her stories with full attention and with time, I developed this picture in my mind, of her, sitting on a bench, at the Mile End Subway Station in her Nursing Uniform. That massive old subway system represented London for me. I always wanted to paint her… I ended up painted her twice, in fact. One day, I was invited to an art exhibition. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Facing Islands’. I took that painting with me. As it happened, the UK Ambassador for France was there. He stopped in front of my painting and he didn’t leave. The painting of my mother ended up in the National Collection of Britain in France. I’m quite proud of that!”