Monday, 6 July 2020

red and white organza dresses

All eight dress forms are finished in my current project to make a sculptural piece in organza. Each hand stitched and cut from a 1970's pattern. I'm unsure how I'll join them and intrigued by the process that will reveal itself to me as I make. More stitching, more ironing needed to complete this piece...   

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

red organza dress

I'm making a work thats been in my head for a while. I'm 6 dresses in (there will be 8), all cut from a 1970's pattern. The pattern cutting takes almost as long as the hand stitching of each dress, organza is so slippery it requires ironing and pinning into position in an attempt to stop distortion within the fabric before cutting. I decided to hand stitch the dresses, as each represents one of the seven generations of women before me, the women who birthed daughters who birthed daughters who birthed daughters and this line that stretches back to the first humans ends with me.   

Monday, 11 May 2020

knitted branches

Through trial and error I replicated these branches in hand knit, using double-point needles, increase and decrease. Knowing how to make a sock was a great advantage.

Working out how to do it through doing it. Carefully replicating each branches twists and undulations, unwinding and re-knitting one branch dissatisfied by the accuracy of my first efforts. Yarn passing twice though my fingers in slow, puzzling learning.

And, now these exist, soft, foldable, reminding me of snakeskin. What shedding happened as I made? What growth?

See previous post for images of the yarn pre-knit, it had been wrapped round trees in Epping Forest and left for 15 years.    

Thursday, 26 March 2020

tree/time dyed yarn

Two years ago I visited Epping Forest, near my childhood home and unwound acrylic yarn I'd wrapped around tree trunks 15 years before. See 15 years for reflections on that day.

Last week I went to my studio at Haarlem Artspace and collected plants, basic art materials and two projects I've been intending to work on - the yarn came home with me.

I'm finding it difficult to relate to my pre COVID-19 'to-do' lists and I'm resisting the upsurge of 'doing' all over social media BUT, think I can get my head and hands around making knitted branches using the tree/time dyed yarn.

Lets see what happens.

Images show the yarn, branches gathered in Matlock and an old set of double-point knitting needles.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

new - sales page

In light of COVID-19 and seeing my diary empty of paid work for the foreseeable, I've set up a sales page. As a freelance self employed person with no savings I'm trying to be inventive while my brain flits from panic to disbelief and also - to hope.

If you are able, please consider buying from artists & creatives, whose lives are precarious at the best of times... 

Thank you 💚

Saturday, 22 February 2020

essex hawthorn

Beginning to organise my work for Print Fair 2020 at Nottingham Contemporary in March. A gang of us from Haarlem Artspace will be there - come and say hi.

My Essex Hawthorn linocut is of a tree I sat under as a child, I remember colouring in my flower fairy book under its branches. This memory is so vivid because I developed a painful migraine that afternoon and spent the rest of the day in the back bedroom with curtains drawn...

When I left London in 2018 and knew I'd not be walking past the tree anymore I took photos and created the linocut in Derbyshire, bridging then and now.

At times I doubt the impact my work may have, but had this challenged recently when a friend who'd bought a print said she has it above her desk and looks upon it daily. She uses the work as a gentle reminder about keeping healthy boundaries and this practice has had a great effect in her life.

The hawthorn is adaptable and an amazing boundary keeper. When cut and tended it becomes an abundant hedgerow for wildlife and container of livestock and if left to its own devices grows into a beautiful gnarly tree. In either form it has leaves you can eat, May blossom and edible berries (I have a hawthorn berry chutney recipe if anyone wants to try).

Hawthorn is my favourite tree and before we know it she will be signalling her presence in the hedgerow with her May blossom - white firework flashes that are particularly enjoyable from a speeding train window.