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 KILLING KEVIN a series of fifty-four embroideries on handkerchiefs, the text in the piece needed to be threaded, pricked and needle-worked into form, it's what this story demanded. The use of handkerchiefs in Killing Kevin, 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 intrigued by the faith and meanings we sometimes attach to objects, especially when we do so in an attempt control our fate, so existing objects, amulets and charms appear quite regularly in my work. MANIFESTO FOR A NEW NORMAL, a series born out of Covid lockdowns, uses handmade baby clothes, stitched in expectation of New Life as the ground where demands for a new and better modus vivendi are written.
I have a long-standing interest in 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 resurgence of The Handmaid’s Tale, observed that fertile women are a minority in every society, making them a currency that needs to be controlled. I would suggest that the means of control employed today is shame. Frankly, this infuriates me and drives me to delve back into the stories of notorious, outcast, misfitting women, to re-imagine their narratives and in my small way to rehabilitate these 'monsters'.