40 stitches 40 minutes
For these crochet works, I drews from an experience of self-denial that was imposed by a period of recuperation from illness. This occurred during a particularly polar winter (2010/11) for the North East. I spent much of my recovery at home creating freeform textiles.
One night, and at one of my lowest points, my partner took me out to experience our backyard. The snow was thigh-deep. The stars twinkled against the blackness with rural clarity. The nearby A-road was silent from the absence of traffic. Crystals slowly drifted downwards from the sky, bathed in the window light that was amplified by the snow. In denying myself the light, safety, and warmth of the domestic space to venture into the dark, cold, and hazardous conditions outdoors, I brought myself unexpected refreshment. The pieces in this exhibition draw from this serene memory of stripping back to essentials amid bleakness.
My usual bright colours have been reduced to a monochrome. My freeform shapes have been flattened to light strips with dark markings. They were composed and executed over a 40-day period. The 40 days started on the 18 February 2015 and I spent 40 minutes each day with a minimum of 40 stitches.
Participated in Scene – an exhibition devised by Sarah Crisp
Scene by Sarah Crisp is an artist’s response to the experience of violent crime. The victim encounters prejudice and ignorance at its most primitive. She is denied not only the veracity of the experience: she is rendered non-existent through relegation SCENE references the idea of a book about torture, coercion and exploitation. The book is always in a state of censorship and always on the brink of being produced. The book comes into being. Its stories surface. Its content is the indescribable that which will always meet denial, minimisation and blame. therefor, its forms constantly submerge then re-assert themselves.
I curated an exhibition Outing Ageing at the Holy Biscuit, Newcastle. The show explored our relationship with ageing. Ageing affects everyone. People respond to ageing in different ways – from embracing it to trying to manipulate its impact on their physical appearance. Me – i am both fascinated by my own responses to it and slightly perturbed by its quiet presence. Changes happen every day- mentally and physically. Some changes are more perceptible than others. The show is finished but you can see images and thoughts from the show at the blog Outing Ageing
‘What is textiles’
‘Weighted moods’ I made this freeform crochet at a time of personal and medical transition. There is no set pattern in freeform – the pattern emerges with each stitch. In this piece, bamboo yarn, organic and soft to the touch, was blended with washers and nuts. The piece reflects the mood of that time: vulnerable, treading lightly, yet intertwined with the industrial materials used in surgery.
Selected for ‘What is textiles’ hosted by the Kalopsia Collective.
Florence Mine, November 2011 -February 2012
I participated in an art residency led by Sam Meech and made a digital film. The residency was shaped by the place itself- Florence Mine – the last deep iron ore mine in Europe. As I went around the mine I was struck by the absent voices – the women. The Strength of Cumbrian Women is a short film based on reflections on stories I read during the art residency.
Advent and venture, December 2011- January 2012
Advent and venture at the Holy Biscuit, Newcastle. I won best in show. I submitted my knit a year strand which was part of an online project developed by Beth Barlow called Knit A Year. The idea was to knit a minimum of 2 rows of 10 stitches each day to reflect your mood that day. The practice saw me through a year of different moods and experiences. It was the year i was diagnosed with cancer. So the piece itself includes a reflection of moods through the time of advent – when i was recovering from surgery – the physical knitting of the stitches as well as the materials contain thoughts, expectations and hopes.