I do not produce a great deal of three dimensional work but a small number of pieces are necessary to give a broad view. The one below was made for the Cheshire Textiles 21 Vessels exhibition at Farfield Mill.
Dancing Round Our Handbags.
This piece utilizes my most frequent method of working using layered, recycled silk with free-machine embroidery and reverse applique. It is a humorous look at the habit of groups of girls to put their handbags in the middle of a circle while dancing, to keep them safe.
Walking in the Rain
This piece of work is layered together with calico, emulsion paint, hand coloured tissue paper & writing in ink & pencil. The writing echoes the theme of rain & lake on a wet walk in the Lake District with a companion now lost. Its themes are the importance of memory & the prevailance of grief.
A Lifetime’s Reflections.
This piece examines the continuing presence of all stages of identity throughout life’s narrative as a crowd of ghostly presences. All the figures represent the same person at different ages & stages in life. This is why they are all wearing fashions from different decades. The 3 mirrored sides of the box cause the figures to reflect repeatedly so that they become a legion of figures, all of them alone. This demonstrates the way in which former identities repeatedly resonate down the years. Nothing is ever lost. in each figure the clothes & hairstyles are markers of one of the former selves.
There’s Something Disconcerting About a Dead Zebra.
Markmakers at the Brindley Arts Centre, Halton.
An Exhibition based on narrative.
The Story of My Life.
For this exhibition each member had to choose a short story to act as an inspiration for their contribution to the exhibition. My own was inspired by Margaret Atwood’s Hair Ornaments. This is a tale about a woman who feels that her identity is very much defined by her clothes. I was also still interested in the use of reflections, seen in the previous piece. I decided to make an installation exploring these themes. The figures are plain white on the back & extracts from the story demonstrating the woman’s feelings about the clothes are transcribed on the three female figures, an older woman, a younger woman & a child. The pieces on the wall are very detailed, painted sketches of a dress suitable to each. Around the sketches are my own stories relevant to each of the garments, which are sketched from hoarded garments of my own.
On the side facing the wall each figure is covered with a silver reflective film, to reflect the garments & the stories from the wall.
This shows how clothing reflects & defines our identity & is a marker for who we are at any defined point in our life’s narrative.
The work very much reflects the story telling theme of the exhibition whilst exploring my own interests of identity displayed through clothing & the ways in which accumulated earlier identities continue to resonate throughout life.
The Hippies Reach Retirement.
This is a piece of work made as a full garment to be displayed on a hanger or dummy. It explores issues around the fact that the Hippies of the late 60’s & early 70’s are now moving onward into retirement. An embroidered waistcoat is a suitably alternative garment to reflect this. The images all show the Flower Children as we like to imagine them, talking an interest in organic allotments, campaigning for free broadband for pensioners & pushing a shopping trolley in the clothes of their youth, now grown too tight. It is a gently humorous view of the shifts in character & lifestyle that are necessary concessions to ageing. It is made in layered fabrics in natural & beige shades to echo the opinions of the rest of the world as to what is appropriate for those of us who have reached a certain age to wear, so that it can affect not to notice us.