I make privately made exhibition led woven tapestries. A defining characteristic of my work is the use of symbols to express its autobiographical nature. Drawing upon a visual diary to represent emotions whether farcical, comic or serious these visual ticks often enclose a double meaning.
The artists journal has for centuries documented and informed, catching moments in time whether ecstatic, sexually motivated or humdrum. Similarly the ancient craft of tapestry has documented a narrative, representing the story of the day. It is the commonality of both the artist's journal and the tapestries historical portrayal of daily accuracies, which is at the heart of my work. I use tapestry to convey a comment on life, imprint a moment in time, or to show discord or harmony.
I work naturally as a colourist and perversely restrict myself to a limited palette to repeat my witty comment on life. The monochrome colour palette of soft velvety greys is often interrupted by the injection of red. On the odd occasion when colour is prescribed to, it is similarly limited to retain the clarity of the woven image.
I chose tapestry for its constructive nature. Tapestry is singularly alone and separate from other textile mediums as the maker is constructing the entire fabric by hand, it is bespoke and unrepeatable, as every interpretation is individual to the person who has woven it.
Most recently travelling to New York has influenced my latest collection of tapestries. I have drawn inspiration from the natural grid structure of the road system in New York City in contrast to the warp and the weft in tapestry weaving. Also the signs and symbols in this capital city represent how we are structured by systems employed to control and release us.
Current and forthcoming events
- April - June 2013: Finding the Unicorn - Tapestries Mythical and Modern, Fleming Collection, London (more info)
Qualifications and training
- 2000 PGCE (Post Compulsory) Teacher Training, University of Portsmouth, Chichester
- 1993 BA (Hons) Constructed Textiles, Middlesex University, London
- 2010 Studio Director, West Dean Tapestry Studio, West Sussex
- 2001 Short Course Tutor, West Dean College, West Sussex
- 2011 Collect - Crafts Council Exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, London
- 2010 Open Studios, Chichester, West Sussex
- 2009 Collect - Crafts Council Exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, London
- 2008 Collect - Crafts Council Exhibition, V&A Museum, London
- 2012 Rediscovering the Unicorn Tapestries, Glasgow University, Glasgow
- 2006 Tapestry Study Day, V&A Museum, London
- 2011 Tapestry - A Woven Narrative (co-author)