Reading is an act of co-authorship. When you pick up a book and read it, what you bring to that process is your own personal history. This is a filter through which we perceive language and by which we forge connections. My use of the book as sculptural object playfully reworks its formal components allowing the 'reader' to experience something altogether new. I obstruct the original narrative in order to afford the reader of the artwork minimal linguistic stimulus. In essence this simplifies, clarifies and quietens interaction so that the reader's response can be heard.
Working with old manuscripts bearing the physical imperfections and aromas of past human handling and thus retain their human presence is essential. The aesthetic quality of text and relevance of the book's title is also important. The book or page becomes a tool for looking inwards to our evolving personal narratives rather than the read contents of the book as text. I consciously work with the text to render it difficult to read, if not at times almost absent. The fragmentation, removal and disruption of text transform words into visual clues. By resisting meaning in purely linguistic terms the reader is invited to respond at an intuitive and emotional level. In physically exploring text, removal of text, the page, book and restructured cover I seek to construct alternative narratives, which in turn generate new meaning.
Transaction and interaction contain the echoes of previous experience. This inevitably interferes with the reception of the other person's voice and intention so that we hear through our own history. My works explore a frustration in communication. I seek to express the difficulty of speaking without being heard, to listen either actively or ineffectively. My books and their pages become a tangible expression of those sentences suppressed or left unsaid.
Qualifications and training
- 2009 Arts Award Advisor, Trinity College, London
- 2008 Certificate of Professional Practice. Creativity for Life CPD, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
- 2005 MA Graphic Communication, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
- 2013 Turn the page artists book fair, The Forum, Norwich
- 2012 The Forge Open Day, Artist Studios, Digswell, Welwyn Garden City (more info)
- 2012 For the Love of Books, Huyton Gallery, Knowsley, Liverpool (more info)
- 2011 Personal Perspectives, Arts Depot, Tally Ho Corner, N12 0GA
Educational experience - primary
- 2011 Creative Learning Programme inset day., The Wroxham School, Hertfordshire
Educational experience - special needs
- 2013 Music and the Arts as a Communication Skill, Mid Herts Music Centre, Larwood School, Watling View School, Hertfordshire
- 2012 ‘A Sense of Self’ in association with the Hertfordshire Creative Learning Programme., Lonsdale School, Stevenage, Letchworth Arts Centre, Hertfordshire
- 2011 Creative Partnerships, Lonsdale School, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
- 2010 Creative Partnerships 2010 – 2011., Lonsdale School, Hertfordshire
- 2008 Arts Award for SEN pilot project, Music and Art as a Communication Skill, Stevenage Music and Arts Centre, Hertfordshire
- 2008 Creativity for Life: Creative approaches to learning., Lonsdale School, Hertfordshire
- 2013 Appointment - Director / Trustee, Digswell Arts Trust, Hertfordshire
Web links - article/press