Weight

The burden of some memory is impossible to shift, it is dragged through entire lives, even through generations. Precious memory is often part of these difficult memories integrated and impossible to separate.

concrete, cotton and pewter

Marked

The endlessness of atrocities of war are explored through the act of labelling. Labels ususally determine individuality, but each label here says the same thing.

* Fjöldamorð – Massacre
Bjóðarmorð – Genocide
Þjoðernishreinsunum – Ethnic cleansing

* Iceland is a country with some of the least conflict in modern history – violent words spoken in a  non violent language.

Inert

Inert is a commissioned work for Arts Council England funded collaborative project ‘Through an artists eye‘.

The project explores the work of Felicia Browne, a British artist who volunteered and died in the Spanish Civil War. Through poetry and visual art the exhibition responds to her life and her archive of drawings and letters held at Tate Britain.

I was asked to create a knitted piece of work in response to the last known photograph of her before she left for Spain.

Presence

Presence

My work explores memory and loss, ideas surrounding the essence of something that once existed but is no longer there. This piece was a site specific piece for Dis locate and explores these themes within the context of the exhibition space itself.

Using the catalogues and waste post left at the site from the previous VW business, I have cast in paper pup, the negative impression of a VW Golf MK2 car seat. The paper pulp retains the textural surface of the seat fabric and the shape in negative relief , leaving us with a sense of the object but remaining changed and at odds with our perception of what we should expect.

This piece alludes to the impression of the space and what it was once used for but also of a personal memory of a MK2 golf that I part exchanged at the same garage 10 years ago.

2016 recycled paper pulp 50” x 20”

Immortelles

Inspired by porcelain immortelles that are left on graves as flowers that do not decay. Flowers through history have been synonymous with remembrance and mourning. We have flowers at funerals we plant roses as memorials to people gone, flower images are carved into headstones, poppies are used for remembrance day, flowers are left at the site of an accident etc. Immortelles are particularly interesting to me. They are an attempt to halt decay, made of ceramic and placed on graves with the added protection often of glass and a wire cage to both protect from damage and the elements. My flowers imply generations of loss as well as decay.

Void

I have used vessels to explore the end of life within my work. An empty vessel implies loss and emptiness. The loss of memory at death holds a particular fascination and the impression left by paper within the vessel alludes to this.

Paper clay, silk paper, Chinese ink 2015

Void Install

Lord deliver me

Created in response to a visit to Bodmin Jail in Cornwall England. 8 women were hung at the prison between (1868 – 1899).
Several of these women had been living in very difficult circumstances – homeless and single with several children at a very young age, often working and living in workhouses. 1 of the women Selina Wadge was hung for the murder of her own child after having met a man who promised her a better life but not with all of her children.
Rope was my starting point – it was integral to life within prisons, used to hang those sentenced to the death penalty, unpicking rope was a prison task and the unpicked rope would be used to caulk boats used for transportation to the colonies. Using this rope I have referenced the idea of spiralling out of control by making coiled rope bowls using basketry techniques. Clay pushed into the rope basket creates a bone like remnant, a memory, whilst also referencing the ideas of unravelling and deterioration.
Iron oxide was used to enhance the ropes texture on the outside of the item (Iron locks, prison keys) a tin glaze was used inside (tin bowls and cutlery were issued to each prisoner). The piece is also empty – empty lives. It doesn’t stand up and couldn’t hold anything – pointless and purposeless, lives that were not lived to the full.
The red thread inside the piece references the phrase ‘hanging by a thread’ as well as a significant reminder of the severing of an umbilical connection between a mother and her child.
Moments before Selina Wadge was hung she was heard to say ‘Lord deliver me from this miserable world’.

Continue reading “Lord deliver me”

Mental Health

An installation that explores the historical treatment of women’s mental health.

This project was created to explore the historical treatment of women’s mental health. The sphere reminds us that women were incarcerated within asylums very often needlessly, but the sphere is controllable by other people, pushed around and manipulated. The rags are reminiscent of rag trees where family would tie remnants of clothing from people who were sick in the belief that as the rag disintegrates the person would get better.

The arched central element is a reference to Charcot’s hysterical arch. It is hand dyed with St. johns wort a natural anti depressant and then quilted on one end in a brain pattern with a section from the front torn and removed referencing pre frontal lobotomy’s often given to women as a way of calming them.

The other end is stitched with paper and hand embroidered with salt crystals grown over the top that remind us of the tears shed. This end was created as a reference to the   unclaimed cremation urns from a 19th century asylum that David Maisel photographed.

November 2018

This piece of work was selected in November 2018 as the cover artwork for an Idles limited edition 7 inch single of ‘Divide and Conquer’.