Many of my positive memories from my childhood relate to textiles of some sort. A shoebox full of fabric scraps taken to school, sewing classes in primary school, Needlework work in high school, learning to sew my own clothes as a teenager at sewing classes on a Saturday. When I didn’t get into the Textiles and Design/Home Science teaching degree I had chosen, I went on to become a Primary School Teacher instead. This opened up my horizons in many ways. A life-long passion for literacy teaching and migrant issues was ignited. However, when my daughter was small, and I had some free time, while working part-time as a University tutor, I started thinking about those earlier interests I had and began embroidery classes. I haven’t stopped learning and trying out various techniques such as felting, mixed media techniques, beading, photo transfer techniques, natural dyeing. Now working as a primary school teacher in Italian and Creative Arts, I enjoy using both my academic and creative skills. I find my artistic interests influence my teaching and vice versa.
I still use a variety of techniques in my work – embroidery, photo transfer techniques, felting, counted thread techniques, such as canvas work. I have recently started using beading and sequins for a particular piece of exhibition work and love the meditative quality of hand stitching. I’m yet to decide on a particular technique to focus on. I enjoy working with different techniques at different times and with different concepts or pieces of work. I really enjoy the research and thinking required at the start of a theme or project. One of the things I’m working on is maintaining momentum and seeing things through to the end.
I’m drawn to conceptual art and love to read about the ideas behind an artist’s work, almost as much as looking at the visual impact of a piece. I use the following types of materials in my work, sometimes on their own or in combination. I particularly like juxtaposing the distressed with the new and ‘shiny’:
* Work using ‘luxurious fabrics’ and notions, such as silk organza, chiffon, beads, sequins, gold thread.
* Hand dyed, eco dyed, rusted fabrics.
* Photo transfer onto silk organza and silk fabric
I’m interested in:
* Historical textiles and embroidery
* Recording the passage of time via changes in the natural world
* Social issues – I’ve always been passionate about social justice and feel this could be an area I would like to incorporate in my work. However, I’ve struggled to find a way to express this in visual form.