Hope started life as an artist in a studio squat under the elevated train in Jamaica, New York and never had great expectations. Met Grace Jones in a lawyer’s office in Manhattan and stumbled on Tom Waits in Los Angeles but didn’t manage to get either of their phone numbers.
An unconscious objector to career planning, Hope worked in a deli in Brooklyn, was a lawyer (still recovering) and cartoon animator in LA and director of an art gallery in Manchester before settling down in rural Scotland. Just a few evenings of live music and whisky down the local pub and Hope was playing piano and singing for the first time since dimly remembered days as lead singer in a high school rock band, belting out Janis Joplin covers at the Knights of Columbus.
Since then, Hope has performed at Scotland’s Eden Festival, the Wigtown Book Festival, the Dumfries Music Conference, Nice ‘n Sleazy in Glasgow, the Carlton Arms Hotel in Manhattan and singer/songwriter Jeb Colwell's flat in Brooklyn.
First album “Aim Low” is on Spotify and iTunes after years of procrastination. New singles are in the works for 2019.
"...there's jazz, torch songs...the New Orleans barfly communing with the New York bartender at 3 am... ghosts of beat poets, the ring stain of a Bukowski memory...” (Alex Main, http://www.newhellfireclub.co.uk/news/)
Says Hope, “All that stuff must’ve seeped into my subconscious over the years, now it’s seeping out.”
"Art is how I make sense of the world. Drawing is about observation, feeling a deep connection with the subject. Nowadays, I 'draw' with pens, paint, words, sound, whatever media a project seems to demand. This is risky. Every song, every painting is a risk. You're putting yourself on the line and the outcome is uncertain. But risk leads to discovery, that's the point."
Hope understands the power of the arts to transform people’s lives for the better and is committed to sharing this experience with others as an artist, writer, consultant, teacher and facilitator.
Received an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts (2004-5),a Creative Scotland/Visual Arts and Craft Maker’s Award (2015-16) and in 2018 a Ruth Cranfield Award from NEPACS (a non-profit in Durham, UK supporting prisoners and their families).
The creative passions that always simmered in the background have now taken over - writing and recording, performing, a continuous output of paintings, community art projects and experimentation with other art forms.
Recent community projects include: Self Portraits workshops with LGBT Youth Scotland; LifeStories project in words and pictures with Upland Arts Development CIC and young people from Elmbank School, Dumfries; Co-design (with Helix Arts, Newcastle and NEPACS, Durham UK) of Hidden Voices arts-based resource to help people in prison rebuild relationships with their children; (co-designing with Helix Arts/Music in Prisons the Koestler Award winning Tuned In resource with women at HMP Low Newton), Dumfries & Galloway Council (Youth Issues Unit; Social Services; Autism Initiative); working with people with learning difficulties, acquired brain injuries and recovering from substance misuse, withTurning Point Scotland; Spring Fling Rural Mural project.
Before all of this Hope specialised in arts management, using her background as an artist and former lawyer to support the development of arts practitioners and organisations throughout the UK. Never one to shy away from new approaches, she developed a graphic novel character, "M Contraband Esq., Punk Lawyer" to help teach artists about legal issues that affect their work and livelihood.
Hope was one of the first lecturers at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Consultant Director of Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery and is an Honorary Teaching Fellow of the University of Warwick Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies.