Texture at the Hub
The Hub, National Centre for Craft and Design

Texture is a constant and vital aspect to my work. It always has been and I expect it always will. Whether it is the rendering of a surface through drawing media or creating tactile qualities through materials and stitch, the fascination with wanting to touch the finished work is incredibly important.

This work has evolved from a fascination with the interaction between sound and vision as cumulative elements in the substance of my memories. It strives to be an exploration and innovative use of materials and processes. This work reflects the emotions and images that I associate with particular pieces of popular music; sounds that I want to be able to give visual form to and are able to touch. I enjoy the ambiguity of images that can be read in several ways.

These wall hung Textile pieces explore phrases of children’s sayings that are related to work, play and hands. For this exhibition I have developed a number of panels that incorporate found gloves that are trapped and fused under layers of imagery. The Glove as an expression of identity, uniformity and disguise has been a recent obsession in my work. They can protect the good by keeping the wearer from harm, but they can also be used by the bad. A symbol of guilt throughout many cultures is the red hand, a common association of literally being ‘caught red handed’, or in the act of perpetrating a crime. Injuries are wrapped, protected, cared for and mended by ‘helping hands’.

Helping Hands

Whilst researching for this project I discovered a battered and worn 1930’s St. John Ambulance Manual of first aid that had belonged to my great uncle. Diagrams of how to support and tend casualties, with written instructions, provided a rich supply of imagery that is quaint and vaguely anachronistic in today’s society.

Green Fingers

Green Fingers’ is a somewhat disturbing term for the notion of unusually potent growing and nurturing abilities. Gardening is an occupation that remains constant and the somewhat pagan enjoyment of tending the earth and being surrounded by nature is another avenue I decided to explore.I wanted to elevate the everyday, utilitarian, mass produced items and give them an individualism that defied the elitism of a hierarchy of cloth. Why is cotton less precious than silk? Is work only of value if its component materials are of intrinsic value?

In the making of the work the gloves have become unwearable, sewn together, sewn down and thus rendered useless and incapable of serving their designed function.

Least Said, Soonest Mended

The format of a diary page gives a linear context to the stitched pieces and uniformity within which to explore the themes of personal and family memories. The idea of ‘being busy’ and using our hands is central to the work. I find that every activity in life often appears to have to be ‘timetabled’ or it fails to happen. The notions of making, creating, nurturing and mending often feel outdated in today’s ‘virtual’ society and I am endeavoring to highlight the physicality of these acts by using found ‘antique’ imagery and juxtaposing it with more contemporary objects.