Sunday, 29 May 2016

Lasting Impressions

Our first day of Lasting Impressions at Salts Mill was a great success. We had lots of wonderful responses from participants. If you would like to come and take part we have ongoing performances taking place Sunday and Monday 11-12 | 1-2pm | 3-4pm. We are in the roof space (4th floor). Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Claire Wellesley-Smith and I have been busy this week preparing hundreds of small porcelain tiles ready for visitors to Saltaire Arts Trail to leave a 'Lasting Impression'. This weekend, during a series of performances we are inviting people to leave a trace of the clothes they are wearing. In exchange we will be offering visitors the gift of a stitch.

Come and see us in the amazing Roof Space at Salts Mill 28 - 30 May 2016.

Performances each day (28-30 May) between:
11am & 12 noon  |  1pm & 2pm  |  3pm & 4pm

Saturday, 14 May 2016


I was very fortunate this week to travel to Roubaix, France with Bradford School of Art. During my trip I visited the wonderful Tissuthèque textile archive at Musee la Piscine. The archivist, Norah, brought out some wonderful items for us to see. Although it was a brief visit I found it very inspiring and have some further lines of research in mind, but for now that's under wraps while I work on other things. Not long now until Lasting Impressions...

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Not making it

It is a very strange thing to be building up for a big project and to have nothing much to show for it. The Lasting Impressions project I am currently working on with Claire Wellesley-Smith is something very different for me. As a performative work, it will take place and grow in situ at Salts Mill. It is such an exciting opportunity and  I feel really honoured to be able to work on this.

It took me by complete surprise (although it probably shouldn't have) that I have missed the slow build-up of making that I usually associate with a project. I miss the making and I miss the reassurance of a physical object taking shape. It makes me nervous to have nothing in my studio and just lists and invoices in my notebook.

I keep telling myself that the magic will happen in the moment... Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Spinning Room

It's a long time since I wrote a post here, mainly because I have been busy planning projects and writing proposals. That doesn't always make for fascinating reading but today one if those projects started to feel much more real.

I am really lucky this year to be creating a new work called 'Lasting Impressions' in partnership with my friend Claire Wellesley-Smith for Saltaire Arts Trail. With the support of Saltaire Inspired and Arts Council England we have been commissioned to make a performative work for the duration of the event (28-30 May 2016). We are very fortunate to be using the wonderful Spinning Room at Salts Mill and today we had our first planning visit.

At 168 metres long it is a truly amazing space with an atmosphere all of it's own. It makes it all the more special that it isn't usually open to the public. This will be an exciting, if slightly daunting project. I will be sharing more here and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook over the coming weeks.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Turning stones

Wandering the riverbank this afternoon I must have turned over twenty or thirty pottery fragments looking for something interesting. All of them turned out to be plain white. Pieces of old tile, cups and plates. But finally I found this, one of the prettiest fragments I have ever found.

If you are searching for something, keep looking.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The museum of broken things

It wasn't until yesterday that I realised I hadn't walked along the riverbank since before the flooding. Perhaps that meant I hadn't fully come to terms with the scale of events, the power of the river and the effect on us all. It's been a tiring, stressful period and I think I needed to see the river again.

I love to collect. The act of beachcombing or mudlarking slows me down. It makes me focus. It makes my brain work at things in a very primative (in a good way) manner. I think there is something about the act of sorting and searching that helps me settle and regain my composure.

Yesterday I enjoyed findng the usual 19th century pottery fragments in and amongst the horrible 21st century filth, washed up on the riverbank. But the other thing I have previously observed in numbers are shoe and leather parts. Never before have I found a whole shoe though, which made me think I wonder how old these are? The sheer numbers suggest this is the rubbish from a cobblers. I know there was a tannery just upstream until around 1900/1908; I wonder if there was a leatherworker there too?

If anyone has any thoughts let me know.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

A funny old year

It really has been a funny old year, especially the last few weeks and months.

On Boxing Day morning we received notification to leave our house due to severe flood risk and while the road and our garage were under water, thankfully our home was left unscathed. My heart goes out to all those who have had homes and businesses ruined by flooding, especially artists and small business owners. All in all it has been a very stressful time in my adopted town of Bingley, but it has as made me all the more grateful for what I have. The support of the local community, friends and family is truly astonishing.

I am sending out the old year helping with Bingley Flood Support group and then resting next to the fire. Here's to a calmer, dryer 2016!


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