The driving force in my work is form and colour, what I can make them do and what they will do for me in return. I rarely use conventional fabrics but do use a lot of thread. My preoccupation is hand stitch which I keep simple, not doing anything too technically difficult or impressive. The more I sew the more I want to simplify the construction of the stitches I use as I want the piece to speak for itself and the technique to be secondary.
To me my stitches are drawn marks that record what I have observed or am thinking about. My work is usually (but not always) abstract. I like and enjoy chance and asymmetry with a nod to geometry.
The ideas and inspirations that inform my work are very varied. I may work from sketchbook drawings and research or use a piece of particular fabric or thread as my starting point. I can work with an idea for a long time and I consciously try to take an element from current work into the next. This gives continuity whilst progressing and developing me and what I do.
Following initial ideas and research I am led visually and allow the piece to grow. At this stage work can be slow and frustrating as I discover what is needed and gain a visual vocabulary for the ideas I am exploring. Progress gradually becomes intuitive as I exploit this vocabulary and my chosen materials and push their boundaries to say what I want; it is at this point that work becomes joyous and possibly obsessive!
My recent work is an exploration of rhythm, repetition, links, and the spatial relationships between dancers on a dance floor and the stage space they inhabit.
I am very interested in the intricate patterns they leave behind in the memory of a performance. These explorations began while spending time with Dance East as their Artist in Residence. This was a wonderful opportunity to build on my own Dance training and experience in a completely different media.
In my ‘In case I forget…’ series of work I have used paper with stitch and sometimes paint. The work records movement through time and stage space and the form and transitions of the dance. The challenges of hand stitching on a piece of paper, sometimes quite a large piece and the manipulation this needs, softens the paper surface, allowing the paint and stitch to sit together becoming equally important within the piece.
I have wide experience beyond my own artistic practice. This includes tutoring for textile groups by invitation, A level students in school, mentoring a textiles Master class, artist in residence projects for Dance East and in Schools and delivering cross arts/performance workshops for 6-10 year olds and Local Authority looked after children.
I have curated exhibitions and set up shops within exhibition spaces. I was Gallery Manager at Smiths Row, formerly Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery for six years, a job I have only recently left to concentrate on my own artistic practice. I also make work to commission.
My work can be seen regularly in Galleries across East Anglia. I am a member of the Suffolk Craft Society, www.suffolkcraftsociety.org and exhibit with them annually in Aldeburgh at their other events and at the society’s permanent gallery, Gallery2, in Ipswich.