been interested in upcyling, in taking everyday objects and through their
manipulation, changing them into ‘works of art’. This is something, I learnt
from my father, who used to raid skips for old electrical equipment, which he
would excitedly bring home and fix back to working order.
I began my
studies in textiles by using safety pins and tailors pins, all sewing
paraphernalia that my nan used when dress-making. She had hundreds of
pins, press studs and buttons.
with different techniques, welding the pins together to create skeletal bird
shapes, and bird masks. I realised the pins lent themselves to the shape of
feathers, and through the process of welding I was able to create interesting
shapes, colours and textures, thereby altering the pins, so that they were
It was while
I was studying for my MA in textiles at the Royal College of Art, after
recently returning from an inspirational trip to South East Asia, that I began
to explore the qualities of the humble paper.
always been a material I had returned to, using it to draw on, write ideas down
on, and I had always loved reading, and creating narratives in my work.
East Asia I had come across paper-cutting artists, and small paper models used
in spiritual ceremonies. These ephemeral objects, while simple, had a delicate
beauty to them, they told something about the person living. These paper
objects were often set a light, sailed down the river, or floated up into the
sky by a small candle flame.
As part of
my own studies I experimented with different types of paper, folding,
sculpting, burning, and even leaving paper cut-outs in a forest, which I photographed
over a year, thereby documenting the paper’s disintegration back into the
It occurred to
me that there was cyclical process happening, as the paper came from trees, and
here it was returning to the ground.
now my medium of choice.
This is an excerpt from an article to be published in the March edition of Creativity Magazine.
'Outside the palace was a large garden with trees of deep blue and fiery red; the fruit all shone like gold, and the flowers like a blazing fire with stalks and leaves that were never still. The soil itself was the the finest sand, but blue like a sulphur flame. Over everything down there lay a strange blue gleam; you really might have thought you were standing high up in the air with nothing to see but the sky above and below you, rather than that you were at the bottom of the sea'.
It has been a year to the day that I upped sticks and moved from London to the South Coast. I'd always wanted a live/work space, with a studio to meet my needs, and to call my very own,
rather than paying landlord's extortionate rent for studios with leaky roofs, too chilly to work in winter, as my hands would become numb with cold.
But this was not an option for me in London. So like a lot of artists, I had to move out, to up-size.
I do miss London. I miss the diversity, the buzz of the place, and I miss the fact that in 20 minutes I could be in Central London or Richmond Park, or (my favourite place), Kew Gardens.
It took a year to sell and buy a property, and another year renovating the property we are in, a 4 bedroom Victorian terrace in East Sussex.
The house was in need of modernising, and in desperate need of some tender loving care.
After a year of doing renovations, and renting a temporary studio, it is now (more or less) complete.
The two upstairs bedrooms were knocked through to make one large room for the studio. The ceilings were removed to expose the roof, and velux windows fitted for extra day light. A kitchen area was also installed.
Elsewhere in the house, there has been major works undertaken.
It has been an all-encompassing year.
But the New Year, marks a 'new start'.
Not that living and working from home doesn't have it’s drawbacks.
But I think the space that we've created (for now) far outweighs these.