I left behind my graphic design career in 2006, to pursue life as a self-employed Textile Artist/Designer. My influences have always strongly nodded to art history (the degree I never studied, and therefore taught myself). Also anthropological hints at various world cultures appear in my patterns as well as shapes and styles of garments. Imagery from nature can usually be seen, perhaps rendered graphically.
I began with accessories such as scarves and cushions. Then I introduced patchwork to my range and concentrated on garments, especially kimono-style robes, coats and jackets. My patchworked artwear have been worn by clients all over the world. My designs for interiors have appeared in Hyatt Hotels in New York and LA Venice Beach residential projects. I have exhibited internationally from Paris, Milan, New York, Chicago to Tokyo, Berlin and Istanbul.
Digital printing has always been the way I have expressed my inner world of bold, bright colours. The freedom of colour is inspiring whilst not being constricted by technique. Bright colour prevailed recently in a series of original abstract paintings which became limited edition cushions and scarves. I developed the initial idea for this collection on a Cove Park Residency, supported by Upland. This preceded awards to develop my work from Creative Scotland, which embraced experiments in screen printing, abstract painting and a collaborative mural painting project.
Recently I’ve been concerned about the use of chemicals in dyes and how this is transferred into water systems and pollutes our environment. I was awarded a workshop to experiment with eco-printing processes by Upland. I used natural dyeing techniques, whilst the shapes of the natural leaves become the surface pattern. It’s a fascinating technique, and I followed up recently, learning Indigo dyeing ad shibori techniques.
I was awarded Craft Scotland’s Compass programme for established makers. I have more workshops lined up this Autumn in Cumbria exploring deeper into the natural dyeing process.
I plan to spend some of this lockdown period and into the summer, eco-printing and indigo dyeing in my garden. At a time like this, I love my home and garden more than ever, feeling very grateful to live in such a beautiful part of Scotland. The view from my garden and cottage over Kirkcudbright Bay, still takes my breath away every day, after 6 years. Stunning sunsets and sunrises and starry nights are a big part of my world. The natural world becomes ever more important to me as I spend more time in close proximity to its beauty, and feel its presence in my daily life. I have to make changes in my life which honour this connection, and show my appreciation and gratitude through living in close alignment with nature. I hope my work shows how I create art, make craft and embody design together – it’s a privilege to be able to do all three.