'I’ve always 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.
I experimented 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 almost unrecognisable.
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.
Paper had 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.
In South 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 earth’s soil.
It occurred to me that there was cyclical process happening, as the paper came from trees, and here it was returning to the ground.
Paper was now my medium of choice.
The books came later.'
This is an excerpt from an article to be published in the March edition of Creativity Magazine.
I will posting the full article here soon.