A wee bit about me . . .
I live approximately two miles into the countryside from Brodie on the edge of the Culbin Forest.
I am inspired by my place in the world. During my childhood my dad was a policeman so we moved around a lot and always had the sheen of outsider/different on us. My sense of place, home and safety was very much tied up in the things we moved with us and this continues to impact on my art practice.
The migration of stories, traditions and skills and how they become absorbed into local culture and individual identity creating multiple connections between people and place holds deep interest to me.
I am drawn to invisible layers of history. How they are absorbed and deposited through individual journeys. How objects or materials become repositories of place, time and physical contact. The idea of time and connecting with the past fits especially well with fabric, a lot of the techniques I use have been passed down parent to child over many generations. The thread becoming a bridge.
Textiles are tactile, approachable, intimate yet are barriers and amour against the world. I am very interested in that duality. I love how they hold traces of both the processes that made them but also the life they have lived. There is an underlying theme of queerness, queer identity and the ‘queering of place’ running through my work.
I especially like copper to be within my artworks as I use it as a symbol of both protection and conductivity, running through the world around us. In alchemy copper represents love, balance and artistic creativity which I think are important traits to embrace individually and, in the LGBT,+ community at large today.
I am currently studying an MA in Art and Social Practice. This has deepened and developed my research into somatic experience, transgressive tales and the fluidity of personal identity.
My work method flows along a four-word mantra; Gather, Create , Destroy, Repeat.
• I gather stuff over a sustained period. This can be data or materials or research. My materials hold memories that knit together place, time and energy. I like to be able to know the back story of the things I am working with.
• I see what evolves out of the gatherings and create out of that. There is always an element of creating an archive; recording and displaying time and place. I use a combination of traditional hand working techniques such as knitting, crochet, rope making and stitch which allow me to engage physically with the work. I use a lot of repetitive movements in my work and aim to reach a state of second nature where rhythm takes over. The mark making / recording then takes place both on the materials and myself.
• Destruction is necessary for transformation, it may be I deconstruct a bed, it may be I reduce plant matter to dye or it maybe I destroy an illusion of self. Often the destruction is a re-absorption of elements.
• Repeating, returning and re-cycling and recording through the creative process in a continuing loop.
After graduating in 2002 with a BA Fine Art I exhibited locally while working in retail for several years before circumstances allowed a refocus of priorities. Having returned to college in 2014 I gained both a City and Guilds certificate and diploma in textiles before completing my honours year in Fine art Textiles in 2018.
During my degree show I was selected for the RSA New Contemporaries Exhibition as well as being short listed for VAS and the SSW graduate awards.
On completion of my certificate work I was awarded student membership by the Edge Textile Group and invited to exhibit with them in Edinburgh. I also had work accepted for a member’s exhibition in Perth in 2017