My 3-dimensional work focuses on elements of the natural world which are often overlooked and undervalued and so aims to encourage people to question this and to develop an enhanced perception of their environment. I like to make people think by triggering their emotions through texture and smell and perhaps make them smile.
I wanted to portray the seaside differently from 'the blue sky, sea and sand' image. I try to express some of its beauty and diversity while I worry how we abuse this vast environment.
I have recycled natural materials which are themselves stimulating and fundamental to my work. Their origin, the sea shore, and the authenticity of the materials I use have the potency to unlock the past. I present evocative opposites, the most consistent being attraction and revulsion, pain and pleasure.
Bikinis and deckchairs are icons of leisure and pleasure whilst the materials I make them from, seaweed and fish skins, arouse feelings of revulsion and discomfort. They bring into question what one values and why. I make dresses and hats from fish skins which some find repulsive and others beautiful. Lifejackets combine the horror of death with the fun of living.
I have more recently varied the use of materials to include garden products, for example deckchairs made of thorns and bikinis made of petals representing pain and pleasure of gardening. This has lead on to my latest project which traces our Rights of Passage from birth to death, each marked by gifts of flowers. It celebrates the part played by flowers in a woman's life and is interwoven with a theme on the Ages of Woman celebrating the changing shape of a woman's body throughout her life. The sculptured garments enfold a void for the visitor to imagine inhabiting.
Qualifications and training
- 1995 BA Fine Art, Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Farnham, Surrey
- 1993 Foundation Studies in Art and Design, Croydon School of Art and Design, Croydon, Surrey
- 2012 Baggage, Alnmouth Art Festival, Alnmouth, Northumberland
- 2007 Rights of Passage, The ArtWorks Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne
- 2007 Another Shore, Arts Centre, Havant, Hampshire
- 2006 Fair Trade, Oxford Brooks University, Oxford
- 2005 Sustainable Oxfordshire, Oxford Brooks University, Oxford
- 2005 Another Shore, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall
- 2011 5th Open Exhibition, Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick Northumberland
- 2011 Material Memories, Alnmouth Art Festival, Alnmouth, Northumberland
- 2007 Drawing on Oxford, Town Hall, Oxford
- 2006 Many Hands, Arts Centre, Havant, Hampshire
- 2006 Visual Voices, Osterley Park House, London
- 2006 Human Zoo, University of Northumbria Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne
- 2006 Reworked, Washington Gallery, Penarth, S Wales
- 2005 Many Hands, Windsor Street Gallery, Chertsey, Surrey
- 2005 People’s Show, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne
- 2004 Gallery, Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne
- 2003 Natural Places, Bondgate Theatre, Alnwick, Northumberland
- 2003 Visual Voices, The Maltings, Farnham, Surrey
- 2003 Open, Artsway Gallery, Sway, Hampshire
- 2003 What a Waste, Littlehampton Museum, Littlehampton, Sussex
- 2002 Gallery, Hindmarsh Hall, Alnmouth, Northumberland
- 2000 Gallery, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, Surrey
- 2000 Pre-Degree Show, Whiteleys Gallery, Bayswater, London
- 1995 Foundation Show, Croydon School of Art and Design, Croydon, Surrey
- 2000 Degree Show, Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Farnham, Surrey
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2004 Homage, Barker & Stonehouse, Newcastle upon Tyne
- 2011 Metro, Discover the True Force of Nature in Art
- 2011 A Force of Nature,The Journal, Culture magazine, Newcastle
- 2006 The Sea Inside, Newcastle Journal, Culture Magazine
- 2005 Itsy Bitsy Seaweed Bikini, Cornwall 24