I started as a basket maker in 1987, intrigued by the idea of containing space. Soon I started to make odd shaped vessels that could contain little more than one’s imagination. I’ve made hundreds of containers; call them shelters or nests, boats or baskets. Inspired, I learned papermaking and added it to my vessels as a skin, indulging in my love of collage. Then bees wax, gauze, plaster and pigments found their way into my work. This led to another evolution – rigid androgynous figurative forms, woven, sometimes with collage surfaces – then groupings of figures to create some kind of story.
Living next to marshland for the past 28 years informs my work. Chewed beaver sticks, seed pods, beach rocks, tree bark and rusty metal dug out from pasture have found a way into my pieces. Gathering plant materials from the area and combining pigments, papers, and found things allows me to portray the ordinary in another way. This process, reflecting the relocation from urban to rural surroundings, offers a method of documenting the outstanding physical beauty of my island home.
My fascination with the natural world, and concern about our impact has me rearranging, interlacing and combining materials as an examination of the human footprint on ecology.
I’m also keenly interested in the elements of air/movement and light/shadow and have incorporated the concept of mobiles and suspended forms; diminutive, marionette-like figures, that hint at the delicacy and fragility of existence, and spheres, random-woven from reed, vines, paper and pigments. The age-old and primitive round and elliptical shapes hold much interest in their translucent almost celestial forms.
I enjoy wrapping ordinary things – rocks and glass bottles become delicate and precious when enclosed with thinly twined materials.