This blog has always been about reflecting on my practice and so it is always useful to have a few prompts in order to step back and take stock. Here goes...
What am I working on?
Just now I have a couple of projects on the go. In fact they are both works that have been on and off for a while with shifting deadlines. Firstly I am working on a project with the Bradford Textile Archive, which involves a wide spectrum of artists creating responses to the collection. My work responds to some weave designs which will be translated as hand stitch on paper (image below). The exhibition, called 'Pick & Mix', opens 13th January 2015 at the new Dye House Gallery, Bradford.
The other project I am finishing off is my 'Linear Mapping' installation work, which I have written about previously here, here and here. The work involves creating a series of threads that each represent walks. I have the finishing touches to complete before that heads down to One Church Street Gallery, Buckinghamshire for 'Pinpoint II' in February 2015.
How does my work differ from others of it's genre?
I find this a tricky question as my work is so varied. In my practice I explore very varied subjects and ideas (as you see in the above two projects), I have no single technique or material that characterises my practice although it is all grounded in a sort of vocabulary of textiles. Using stitch, natural dye, cyanotype, applique and print I find ways to make marks, echoes and traces. My work has sometimes been referred to as ghostly and, whilst this isn't exactly a quality I am looking for, I think my work often has an ethereal quality; something that might fade away, the invisible made barely visible.
Why do I do what I do?
I suppose I feel that there are some things that are difficult to articulate with verbal language, so for me art is a way of expressing but also recording an idea. I am also acutely aware of the transience of life, of moments that slip away, of fragile objects that disintegrate; making can be a way of attempting to capture this fragility, futile though this might be.
How does my process work?
My creative process is much more about immersing myself in the subject matter, than in a specific technique or material. In particular walking has an important role in my practice. It forms part of my research process, enabling me to observe and experience my environment. Making similar walks at different times and seasons I observe subtle changes in myself and the landscape. The speed of my walking might be influenced by weather conditions and the observed flora and fauna may vary from day to day. Capturing the things I observe, trying to contain my thoughts and feelings I use a variety of materials and techniques. Often my ideas are 'contained' within a particular object or form as a kind of vessel.
So that's all from me, and I pass on the blogging baton to someone with very different work, which I admire greatly; award winning photographer and studio buddy Carolyn Mendelsohn.