Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Studio investigations - the ages of woman

 Here are some images of my most recent work from the studio thinking about the stages of womanhood and the menopause.

 I have been using lots of different materials to develop ideas, from paper to felt, wire to packing materials. The size and scale are varied too from the small paper piece above to the large textile piece below.

My most recent work is this piece based on the three ages of womanhood- maiden, mother and crone- taken from literature

unfortunately the lighting isn't great for the black figure and so in the photos above she is hardly visible, but then again becoming kind of invisible as you age is part of the work.

Another line of work I have been trying is influenced by Ana Mendieta and includes the images above, making effigies of the female form in natural materials gathered from the autumnal garden and then burning them - all tackling the same themes.

Thursday, 7 June 2018


 I know it's been a while since I last blogged but a lot has been happening here in my Blue Shed Studio. The piece above is made from a book about coping with depression and cut and sewn to imply a brain. The white wiggly lines are text I wrote about having a muddled mind and then these are threaded on to red threads and partly concertina-d up so they are like brainwaves and highlight the chaotic nature of the thoughts. I am looking into making some work about mental health.

 Working with another artist, Vlasta Shevchenko, we have been writing a proposal for a piece of public art that there was an open call for. We based our ideas on the areas local history of weaving and dyeing using woad to create blue cloth, the rural environment  and the need to weave new inhabitants into the community fabric. Now we just have to wait and see if we get a chance to actually make it!
I have been drawing in my garden quite a lot and enjoying being outside....
some of my drawing has been looking at grief and loss and its associated emotional states, now that I feel able to stand back and look at it without being back down into it.

 I have been making a few 3D pieces too....
 There are elements of grief, empty nest syndrome and menopause coming out all over the place but I feel very enthused with the work.

Finally I must recommend the book "Learning by Heart: teachings to free the creative spirit" by Corita Kent and Jan Steward, I was having a very bad time, feeling lost for inspiration but using this book and listening to documentaries and lectures about Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Liza Lou and Helen Chadwick I've really got going again.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018


I thought I'd do a quick catch up blog for some bits and pieces I had meant to share but haven't done yet...This piece is a fairly new creation from the studio that I haven't blogged about and below are some of my favourite pieces from the recent Rachel Whiteread show at Tate Britain. 

 I also discovered the work of Marguerite Humeau while visiting Tate Britain, I am now a huge fan! This piece, 'Echoes,' is beautiful, engaging, immersive and I felt almost intoxicatingly good. I love her fusion of science and art that still has a real experiential outcome and isn't cold/dead in its end result as some sciart can be. 

...and finally here is some gorgeous yarn that I am about to use for a new piece. The colour is incredible isn't it?

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


 Here is a new project I've been working on since the beginning of the year. The idea behind it is for the costume to be used in a performative dance about touch/feelings as it is made up of my interpretation of neurones, the spinal column and nerves. 
I started with these drawings...

 ....then I began to piece together the basic dress, which was a complete first for me but had been part of the reason for asking for the dressmakers dummy for christmas. From there the decoration was embroidered on to the front of the dress......

...followed by creating the headdress come spinal column. After making the band to go around the forehead and then hand down the back, I made clay 'vertibrae' (or my interpretation of them anyway). I had made a spine sometime ago playing with curtain hooks and heading tape this led to my design for the clay pieces. 

I worked on embroidering nerves down the centre of the spine, and crocheting wire neurones for the head band. Although it is not very clear in the images there are also very fine gold and red wires attached to the dendrites that lead over the head and then thread down the centre of the spine too. May be a little more work on the nerves on the back of the dress and possibly on the headband and it should be complete. Now I just have to find a collaborator and device the performative side of the work!