As a child I loved to rummage through my grandmothers collection of antique fabrics and lace and then jobs in theatre wardrobe, textile conservation and a degree in Art History instilled in me a fascination with the sensuality and tactility of cloth. This then drew me to investigate weaving and I discovered the potential for making textile pieces that tell stories, mine and other peoples.
In the making of a woven piece there is a balance between careful planning and the possibility of experimentation, this tension between the rigid linear tension of the warp threads on the loom and the potential to break free from these confines is what keeps me excited about the process.
Much of my work starts with a walk and an exploration of the layers of human experience that have been imprinted on a landscape over time on a particular landscape. Woven pieces have been initiated by walks along the River Lea, on the foreshore of the River Thames and the streets of Hackney.
Walking lends itself to the act of weaving, the rhythmic movement of putting one foot in front of the other corresponds to the rhythmic traverses of the shuttle. In this mechanical act the progress of the thread can be followed as it travels across the warp, back and forth, under and over, slowly revealing a bigger picture. And so in the making of cloth the physical act of walking can be literally made material. A piece of cloth like a journey has a beginning, middle and end and in its creation woven cloth can be embedded with this notion of narrative.
Dying methods are integral to my woven work. I space dye yarns to introduce random placement of colour intended to disrupt the linear structure of woven cloth. I submerge cones of yarn in a dye bath so that as the yarn is woven the colour slowly fades out until there are only traces of the colour left. This sense of progression of the journey of the yarn is embedded deeply in my method of working.
BA Textile Design, Central Saint Martins, 1997 - 2000
Art Foundation, Sir John Cass College of Art, 1996 - 97
BA Art History, Essex University, 1983 - 85