Over the past two decades my work has been rooted in painting and drawing with nature and travel as source material. Recently my experiences of two births, the latter carrying twins and the act of mothering have emphasised time, loss and vulnerability in my personal story. What has evolved into a practice rooted in discovery and curiosity, not knowing and not having all the answers creates a practice propelled by research and experimental making. By being comfortable with my not knowing I can hold space for others to speak and question. This instigates open conversation, new ideas and visions and has necessitated a broadening of my creative vocabulary and methodology. I have learnt as a mother to adapt the way i work and respond and my studio can be a domestic space, shed, office or the landscape itself. My processes and materials also adapt to and are sourced directly from these places. I am inspired by the way my young children see and interact with the world curiously and freely. A playfulness and lust for learning, married with experimental processing of materials puts making at the heart of what i do.
I have learnt to accept that even when I say my work is about nature or landscape it actually acts as a mirror, a deep expression of my innermost self, the universal human condition. The layers and web of life, the basic processes of matter within the colliding macro and micro worlds engages and excites me. I'm interested in the more than human and how we build relationships (good & bad) and connect within it. It's fascinating that we create narratives and myth, ritual and the sacred to build relationships; ultimately trying to see what is obscured .
I am most content when exploring through making. My research is far reaching and eclectic, a new experience or experiments with process will mean both physical and mental exploration are necessary. I'm in search of the space between certainty and mystery, to feel childlike awe in making my work. In an attempt to stay receptive and escape the limits of my own beliefs I delve into alien cultures and artefacts, ancient and contemporary. I am drawn to spiritual, ritualistic and sacrificial methods in making. The meditative, the repetitive, the slow and time consuming often act to ground me and as an antidote to the chaos I feel. I want to understand and to explore the metaphysical through creativity and step into the sublime.
I am currently experimenting with making charcoal and carbonising complex forms in a biochar kiln. I love making inks and pigments from nature, lake, mineral and bone. I have made traditional gesso for over 20 years, obsessed with its chalky white surface like the Egyptian’s were and icon painters are today. I make casein from milk, tempera from egg yolk, I use clay bole to gild. I make paper, ceramics and basketry. I use the detail and fragility of metal point, of charcoal frottage. I use my own blood and hair, beeswax and resins collected from local trees. I anoint with oils, I burn, pierce, tear and cut. I grind, sand and scrape. I weave, thread felt and mould. I forage, pickle, ferment and preserve all as a means to connect with something primal, to push myself and my materials to an edge, to essentially see what is unearthed.
Recently I have been making slow intimate films as well as making site specific work in the rural landscape. It’s been essential to acknowledge how entwined technology and the digital have become, to reframe it as a part of the web that is nature itself and in turn accept it as part of my practice. The digital element is exciting, connective, explorative, social and cultural. A tool to be used gently, carefully and with consideration. I make connections with people, making work to stimulate conversation, all within the frame of making and research. So far i have work with woodlands teams, charcoal makers, climate activists, phycologists, farmers and bio-char experts collaborating and partnering to stimulate new works and broaden my perspective.