Friday, 24 May 2019

uncle fred

Since beginning my Close Knit project in 2009 I've been searching for my Uncle Fred's burial place. Yesterday I visited his grave in East Finchley Cemetery! 

Fred was the oldest son of Frederick and Ada Furmage, there were three daughters before him, two sons after him and my mum, Doreen was the youngest. 

Fred had a mischievous twinkle in his bright blue eyes, always ready for a quip or joke. I remember him as a neat and dapper man with carefully combed dark hair. The life and soul of the party. People liked Fred.

Every now and again I'd have another try at finding Fred. In March I joined for a month and discover a family tree by a man named Kevin which had Fred's wife, Auntie Marge on it. I emailed Kevin and hit the jackpot - he knew where the grave was!

I'll finish Close Knit this year. I'm currently re-knitting George's yellow gravestone cosy after it got damaged, and have Henry and Fred to knit for and then Close Knit will be complete. I'd never imagined it would be ten years work, but here I am still knitting!   

Friday, 10 May 2019

summer lodge

I'm excited to share that I'm participating in this years Summer Lodge at Nottingham Trent University. 

For ten days each July, the Fine Art studios and workshops of Nottingham Trent University are transformed into The Summer Lodge and play host to a gathering of thirty diverse artists. It is intended as an opportunity to think through making by being able to work for a while without many of the usual constrains and distractions. It is a collective space in which to undertake experiments, pursue new ideas and allow unexpected leaps of imagination.

belper arts trail

My first arts trail went fantastically. Visitors were so positive and I enjoyed many interesting conversations about linocut, print, dry stone walling and hedge laying. I sold a good number of prints, and it's heart warming knowing my work depicting local landscape is in local homes.

Below are images of my stand, showing inspiration, linocuts and prints of various sizes and colours. If you would like any further information or wish to purchase a print, please contact me at

 Sketchbook & linocut

Boundary lino prints

 Square lino prints

 Peak Tor & Essex Hawthorn lino prints 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

a rock and a hard place

Two and a half months of hand sewing, swearing, pricking my finger and bleeding have resulted in this beauty. Time lavishly spent on an old, much washed pillowcase. This work has a very personal story behind it... It brings to mind a postcard I have somewhere by David Shirley with the cheery message 'good luck in the strange and brutal kingdom you call home'.

a rock and a hard place

limited edition linocut series - it's all about the boundaries...

My boundary linocut series will be available for sale at the Belper Arts Trail on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May. I'll be exhibiting at Attic Batik next to the Market Place on the Upper Trail. 

Limited edition of 25 each on either white or soft white (cream) Somerset satin 100% cotton 300gsm paper.

Dry Stone Wall/Cromford

Hawthorn Hedgerow/Bakewell 

 Dry Stone Wall/Castle Top

 Hawthorn Hedgerow/Matlock 

Monday, 25 March 2019

a rock and a hard place

When my mother died in 2017 I kept the sheets and pillowcases stored in the large drawers under her bed. These textiles felt significant at the time and are significant still. They retain the scent of her fabric conditioner and breathing it in brings tears to my eyes.

Within my AA2A placement at Derby University I'm working with my childhood memories of Mum reading fairy tales to my sister and I in bed. She joined us, sleeping with us for safety from my alcoholic and violent father. So sheets, pillowcases and storytelling hold an added complexity for me, and again lead me to notions of safety and danger. Is the dark wood dangerous? Is my home safe? 

The fairy tales I loved were written by Alison Uttley, who was born just three miles from where I live. I visited her farm birthplace last Autumn and became fascinated by the dry stone wall and hawthorn hedge boundaries around the farm. The notion of boundary and bedding became linked for me.

With this in mind I am over halfway through hand stitching a dry stone wall from Uttley's farm onto a charity shop pillowcase (I can't bring myself to use my mothers bedding yet, it's too precious). Night after night I stitch, much like the protagonists in Uttley's tales. Will it say what I wish when finished? I'll only know when it's complete

Haarlem artspace

Very excited to share that I have a studio at Haarlem Artspace. I've found Haarlem Artspace to be an incredibly welcoming place since my move to Derbyshire and have enjoyed their exhibitions, talks, workshops, monthly crits and general hospitality and support. 

Its the first studio I've been in that is warm and the plants are alive and flourishing. Bodes well!