I am a multimedia artist with a multi-faceted practice exploring us, our icons, our stories.
My practice, which began with its roots in academic painting and printmaking, has now transformed and continues to transform, as the theme of each successive project determines the media used and the techniques employed. When making the project K is for KEVIN, a series of fifty-four embroideries on handkerchiefs, the text in the piece needed to be threaded, pricked, knotted and needle-worked into form. The use of vintage handkerchiefs, some worked with their original owner’s initials, allowed me to layer my story onto traces of the lives of others; annexing not only something of their individual histories but also the symbolism of the handkerchief as keepsake, tear-absorber, love token; signifier of surrender, sickness and farewell.
I am fascinated by the faith and meaning we sometimes attach to objects, especially when we do so in an attempt control our fate. THE SHOEMAKER'S DESIGNS (work in progress), a project being made in collaboration with the writer Jo Reardon, exploring this contemporary tale: “Such is the despair of Palestinian refugees and deportees about ever setting foot on the soil of their country that in Hebron, whose people are famous for their entrepreneurial spirit, a shoemaker has produced a shoe that contains a small amount of Palestinian soil in the sole." My ongoing series PRAYER BOXES is inspired by the altars carried by travellers in the Middle Ages, to ensure their prayers connected them to God, even when they were on unholy ground.
I am passionate about recognising and re-examining the negative feminine in our culture. Projects such as OTHER BRIDES and MEDUSA & HER SISTERS scrutinise characters in contemporary life, fairy tale and myth; from Eve and Pandora to Drag Kings and Barbie Brides. With curated perfection of our bodies and behaviour being a social expectation, our fear of seeming monstrous is omnipresent. Margaret Atwood, when asked about the recent success of The Handmaid’s Tale, observed that fertile women are a minority in every society, making fertility a currency that needs to be controlled. I would suggest that the most prevalent means of control employed today is shame. I delve back into the stories of notorious, outcast, misfitting women seeking to re-imagine their narratives. In my small way, I am rehabilitating monsters.
* Raja Shehadeh, Language of War, Language of Peace: Palestine, Israel and the Search for Justice, Profile Books Ltd, 2015