An artist initially, I practised as a painter. Moving later into designing and weaving tapestries for walls. My concept for designing has constant reference to weaving as a construction: warp and weft, vertical and horizontal, growing line by line from bottom to top. My designs use and acknowledge these constructional assets; they do not become paintings. In accepting commissions I respond to the needs of the site: its architecture, context and use. Contexts vary, e.g. at St.Helen's Church, Abingdon I chose images from the story of St. Helen and the True Cross; in Rochester Cathedral it was requested that designs be abstract and on a theme of "Meetings". My designs make the fullest use of texture and colour. I also work to themes over a period of years, e.g. landscape into tapestry, the movement of water. Abstract in design based on experience and close observation of subject, resulting in collections for solo and mixed exhibitions.
Processes and techniques
My techniques are design led - challenged and extended by the description of subject within a woven vocabulary. I value calm areas in designs, relying on slow movement of colour and texture to offset busier passages. I weave large works on a vertical frame 4m high and 2m wide. My designs often have relief surfaces I have to be able to weave from front to back. I design and make smaller work on small frames I use plain weave, tapestry weave and ikat; cotton or flax for warps; wool for wefts. Yarn for texture is spun in the studio from carefully chosen fleece on my own designed electric spinner enabling me to make in quantity for larger works. The woven texture can then be of interest in itself, something I cannot achieve in the same way with bought wool. I use bought wool for ikat to reveal subtle graphic imagery. I dye all yarn in acid dye or indigo.
Initially, the move from painting to weaving was influenced by seeing Braque and Picasso tapestries in the Museum of Modern Art, Paris; the curricula needs of children I was teaching and seeing the domestic weaving in Greece, with its well proportioned and simple stripes. It was later influenced by paintings of Sean Scully, Richard Smith, Paul Klee and Mark Rothko. The landscape around me was important (quarries, beaches, rivers) and travelling played its part. India was of particular interest due to its colour and symbolism.
Trained in fine art and teaching at Bath Academy of Art. Studied painting under William Scott, Peter Lanyon, Peter Potworowski, Bryan Wynter. Sculpture under Kenneth Armitage. Worked for Rosemary Ellis in Academy's Education Department training art teachers, including whole days with groups of children; the emphasis - learning through visual experience. Later taught Totnes Girls High School, and Dartington College of arts where I also curated a collection of ethnic artefacts and staged small exhibitions. In 1975 I set up a small weaving studio. I received an income from weaving and running courses and slide talks. First solo exhibition was held at Exeter University. I took work around to architects, received commissions from Trust House Forte and was selected for Vera Sherman's travelling exhibition. Exhibited in the V & A's exhibition 'The Craftsman's Art' , appeared as a guest artist for BBC2's 'Craft of The Weaver'.
CV & Education
2004 - Woven Water Notebook, Devon Guild Members Gallery, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2004 - Woven Water Tapestries in Indigo Ikat with photo panels, Devon Guild of Craftsmen Member's Gallery, Bovey Tracey
2003 - 'Woven Water' Indigo Ikat Tapestries solo UK touring exhibition 2000-2003
2002 - Indian Journey Pieces of Daytime and Woven World, Platform Gallery
2000 - Woven Water, Indigo Ikat Tapestries, touring opened M.A.C. Birmingham 15 Jan
1987 - Indian Journey, Abbot Hall Kendal, UK tour; Tour of India, British Council
1984 - Landscape into Tapestry, St James Gallery, Bath, tour
1980 - Woven Notebook, the Lee Moor Landscape, Plymouth Arts Centre
2007 - Indigo a Blue to Dye for. , Whitworth Art GalleryTouring Exh. Manchester 19.01.07 - 15 04. 2007 April Plymouth 01. 09. 2007. , Brighton and Hove Art Galleries 29 09. 2007 - 6 .01 2008.
2005 - Worked and Woven, Cornwall Crafts Association Gallery, Trelowarren
2000 - Big Skies Open Spaces, Pearoom Gallery, Heckington, Lincolnshire
1998 - British Tapestry Triennale II, Harley Gallery, Nottingham
1996 - Artists Journey, Market Cross, Bury St Edmonds
1996 - Woven Image, Barbican Arts Centre, London, touring
1995 - European Contemporary Tapestry, touring: Martel, France; Aubusson; Belfast; Manchester
1995 - The Inspiration of the Natural World, Crafts Council, touring
1994 - Transforming Nature's Gifts, Rotunda Gallery, Hong Kong