Using fabric, paint and thread I try to capture the beauty of the natural world. My work is inspired particularly by the world of birds, their beauty, stories and battles for survival.
So many birds are under threat due to the increasing human impact on the planet. I will sadly never run out of threatened birds to base work on. I absolutely love the process of creating these pieces, the story of each bird draws me in and consumes me for a time. The journey is continuous as each piece teaches me something new and often gives me inspiration for the next project
My textile art combines my love of birds, painting and stitch. I painted when I was younger, but life got in the way of any creativity for a time. After 20 years in the NHS and a move to Somerset I discovered the world of art quilts. I realised I could combine my newly found love of fabrics with my longstanding need to create.
I bought my first ever sewing machine in 2009 and I started making quilts for the family, my points rarely met and I started to look for a new challenge. I attended some one day courses and discovered the world of art quilts, a technique that allowed me more creative freedom than the world of geometric traditional quilts.
I moved from the kitchen table to my workshop, a small converted milking parlour in 2012. After a few cold, damp winters we replaced the roof, fitted a wood burner and new floor and I’ve never looked back.
Originally from Shropshire I moved to Southampton to train as a Diagnostic Radiography in 1988. I worked in the NHS until 2005 after our second child was born. We moved to Somerset in 2008 where I have had time to reconnect with my love of creating and the natural world around us. I am self taught, learning through experimentation what processes work and discovering the techniques I really enjoy and want to develop.
Somerset is a very creative county and we are surrounded by beautiful countryside. We live close to the Somerset Levels an area rich with wildlife.
I live and work just outside the town of Castle Cary and have exhibited work nationally. My work to date is in private collections in the UK and Europe.
I am very proud to be a member of the Society of Embroidered Work (SEW), an Associate member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art (SGFA), Somerset Art Works (SAW) and the Contemporary Quilters West (CQW).
I work mainly with fabric and thread, though I am increasingly enjoying experimenting with combinations of paper and fabric. My process always starts with research, I love reading about the birds, their environment and challenges in the modern world.
I am unable to do life studies or photograph most of the birds I create so I rely on books and the work of photographers who give me permission to base pieces on their photographs. I love trying to find the perfect image that captures the beauty/strength or essence of the bird I am making. My work starts with layers of carefully chosen fabrics or an image I paint onto plain fabric. These base images are then heavily stitched using a technique called free-motion embroidery and hand stitch. This technique, means the stitch direction and length is all under my control, it’s very much like painting with thread. Each stage is time consuming but I thoroughly enjoy each element.
Much of the research I do for each piece starts with nature books, these books bring the bird to life for me and explain the challenges and threats faced by much of our wildlife. My work is increasingly looking at the environment/landscape these birds are found in, many of us have lost our connection with nature and its rhythms, I would love my work to inspire and encourage an awareness of the world around us.
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