Saturday, 6 August 2016


Goose, 2015

Recently I gave a talk for the Appleby Textile Group, I entitled my talk 'The Fundamental Interconnectdness of Things' partly because I thought it sounded good and partly because the more I progress through my life the more I realise that everything is connected and that the different parts of my life all impact on one another. I haven't done many talks and it's not something I feel very confident in doing so I was nervous beforehand but I think it's good to challenge yourself sometimes and do things that are a bit scary.

Crow, 2016

The group were very friendly and welcoming and put me at ease, I found I actually enjoyed giving my talk and answering the questions the group put to me, it was an interesting opportunity to present my work to new people and see how they reacted and to get different opinions and view points. My talk was about my art practice and my participatory arts practice and how the two collide! Preparing for the talk was a good opportunity for me to reflect on my work as a whole and see connections that weren't at first obvious.

Tatted Sleeve, 2007

Pink, like the inside of things... 2007

Nests, 2014

One thing that really struck me is how reflective my work is of how I felt at the time I made it. From the wrappings and restrictive sleeve pieces I made for my degree show to the current pieces I'm making with feathers exploring transcendence I can track both my artistic and emotional progress.

Feather Collar sample, 2016

Feather Collar sample, 2016

Memento, 2016

I'm really excited about my own work at the moment, for the first time in a long while I feel confident in my work and have lots of ideas I want to explore. I've been working on letting go a bit and not worrying so much about getting everything right and this is paying off, I'm more open to just trying things which then lead onto other things rather than getting stuck trying to get it 'right' first time.

Three small feathers, 2016

Magpie Feather, 2016

My biggest challenge is finding time for my personal practice. Participatory arts is incredibly rewarding and enjoyable but requires a lot of time, thought, and emotional investment. This can mean that I don't have either the time or energy for my own practice which leads to me becoming very grumpy and frustrated. For everyone the big challenge is getting the balance right.

The Lace Space, participatory installation 2011

An important lesson I've learnt about the two strands to my work (personal practice and participatory work) is that they are interconnected and that this can be a really positive thing. When I first started working in participatory arts I saw it as quite separate to my own art practice but as I've gone on I've found that the two strands inspire and feed each other, leading to opportunities and ideas that would not have otherwise developed. Many of the sessions I've run have led to me finding something new that works in my personal practice and equally using elements of my personal practice to develop my participatory work has been very effective.

Getting out and about with Mr. Stitches

On holiday

Getting out and about with Mr. Stitches

As I said at the beginning of the post it is all the elements of my life that affect each other, not just my work. As I've found my way more in my personal life I've become happier and more confident and this has allowed my work to develop in a more positive way. The people I engage with, the place I live, the things I do all combine to make a whole life and all these different elements need time and attention, to be balanced and appreciated.

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