I studied Fine Art Printmaking at Brighton Polytechnic followed by an MA in Sequential Design and Narrative Illustration at the University of Brighton. I joined the University of Portsmouth in 1998, having previously taught in Further Education, Secondary Schools and Community Arts. I also set up and ran Gallery Zero One; a retail and gallery space specialising in limited edition fine art and fashion and textile related products.
Within my teaching I have been developing sustainable practices particularly in regards to up cycling, exploring the notion of what is waste and unwanted in relation to adding value and expending energy. Through the pandemic, this has developed into looking at the relationship of technology to traditional craft as a practice of making.
This relates to my research into the employment of traditional domestic craft techniques within academia and the wider design community. Exploring whether the use of traditional domestic craft techniques, outside of their vernacular context, subjugates and relegates the craft to a lower position within a visual hierarchy, redefined by the (higher) artist/designer, thus alienating the community within which the skills and traditions are held and practiced. The reading of such work requires the viewer to understand the appropriation and subversion of the techniques used, again creating distance from the traditional practitioner. I have explored whether collaborative methods can be employed to address this, generating work which could have mutual authorship and communal ownership, whilst implicitly containing the individual’s contribution. Observation of the emergent practice is allowied for an exploration of how the individual contributions may have been changed by this interactive process. The articulation of a design process by amateur domestic craft practioners was recorded through interviews and personal narratives; a series of craft pieces was created in response to this information.
In my own practice, I have experimented with combining and layering techniques within printmaking, to capture the hand-drawn, physical nature of the process. I have explored the possibilities of narrative and illustrative textiles, using feminist literature, domestic artefacts and the deeds of my house as sources of inspiration.
My work has utilised traditional domestic craft techniques as a means of salvaging and adorning thrown-away clothing through obvious and overstated use, which at one and the same time renders the items both more and less functional.
An eternal obsession with drawing is determining my current work through the relationship of drawing to stitch and the transformation of drawing through design software.