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Hail to the Thief (detail) Machine embroidery on dyed and painted silk organza

I try to create work that is beautiful but on closer inspection reveals a more sinister undertone. I aim to make pieces that are aesthetically pleasing, drawing you in for a closer look, but that also make you stop and think.

I am fascinated by dichotomies; presence and absence, hidden and seen, good and evil. Shadows encapsulate this idea for me; you cannot have a shadow without an object yet the shadow is not an object, it is intangible. Shadows are generally considered eerie and dangerous, yet only evil beings are without shadows.

Process and technique are also very important in my work. I like to use a range of media and techniques but return again and again to traditional textile skills such as knitting, stitching, crocheting and tatting. I like to use textiles for their tactile qualities and versatility and because everyone has a connection with textiles. There is automatically an element of familiarity with a piece of work that incorporates textiles, this can be used to draw the viewer in and then cause them to reconsider and re-evaluate ideas and look for deeper meanings. I also like the feeling that by using traditional techniques I am part of an often forgotten or overlooked history.

This piece is from a series inspired by sleeves from historical costumes. The garments were incredibly beautiful and skillfully made yet probably not very comfortable and certainly very restrictive. I made a series of arm and hand pieces that looked beautiful but on closer inspection had something sinister about them; I made them very restrictive. For example, the piece above has a knitting needle stitched down the centre so when it is on the wearer is unable to bend their arm.

These gloves have massively extended thumbs that have been joined together. This means that even simple activities such as walking become very difficult whilst wearing them as the long cord gets in the way.

In this piece, two sleeves have been joined with a piece of tatting that is narrower that the wearers back, limiting their ability to use their arms.