I am a mixed media textile artist using fabrics, papers, paint and dyes with free machine stitch to create pictures. My recent work is inspired by old letters, exploring the fragility of information from the past. My work is influenced by landscape and especially trees.
Since the 23rd of March I have been working at home, away from my studio and this means I have a limited range of materials to create with and space in which to do it. I spent the first month working in a sketchbook every day, my topic being various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt strongly that I wanted to respond visually to the changes and challenges of what I was experiencing, from confusing statistics to surreal shopping trips to the range of emotions I was feeling. This daily practice has been therapeutic and while the ideas may lead to some future textile art pieces, this was not my main aim.
In my sketchbook I have worked with collage, mixed media and some stitched elements on paper. I have experimented with collecting and using pigments from local rocks, and using things from my kitchen as colour such as tea, coffee and turmeric. I have used packaging and other ‘found’ papers, working with what I have to hand. I have shared some of my sketchbook work on Instagram and I will continue to do this.
It has been a strange time, with the absence of any deadlines, as every shop and gallery was closed and all exhibitions for the foreseeable future cancelled. I have struggled to continue the series of stitched works I began before the crisis started, such a profound change makes it difficult to just continue as normal, when nothing is!
Like everyone else, I have spending my time in close proximity to my home and I am fortunate to live right by the sea. Exploring every corner of the coastline in fine detail on my daily walks has been inspiring and uplifting. This is also being worked on in my sketchbooks and I can see many ideas I would like to develop further.
I am planning to start a new series of small stitched pieces, so there should (hopefully) be new textile art work on my website and Instagram.
In addition to my creative work, I have been volunteering time to help in my local community and also using my sewing machine to stitch items for the NHS D&G For the Love of Scrubs campaign.