I'm an artist based in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland National Park where my studio is a converted wooden barn. I work mainly in paper, making artists books and cut paper pieces, utilising a range of processes including print, stitch and book-binding as well as scalpel and machine cutting. All my work starts life as a blank piece of paper, and I make a wide range of pieces, from one-off unique books where everything is hand cut with a scalpel and then bound, to limited editions and multiples, using machine cutting in my studio from an hand-drawn or hand-cut original. Drawing is at the heart of my practice, and I take inspiration from the landscape around me as well as from particular texts and films.
The inspiration for many of my current pieces comes from a 1945 film called 'I Know Where I'm Going'. My unique books often relate to a particular character in the film and contain the words that character speaks; bits of the script also trickle into other work, snippets of dialogue, forming and reforming, taking on new meanings and telling different stories. I also use half-remembered lines of songs and poems so that text forms an integral part of many of my pieces, shaping their form in the process. I am fascinated by book structures, in the interplay between form and content, in the way in which the physical shape of the book can communicate something about what is inside.
I completed a degree in Embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008 and have participated in a number of exhibitions since then, including at the Curwen Gallery in London, the Leeds International Artists' Book Fair, the Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales and Origin in Spitalfields, London. During 2011 I will be showing work at a number of venues, including at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Bluecoat Design Centre in Liverpool. My work is in several collections including Tate, UWE, the University of Northampton and MMU Library.
Describe your creative practice in 20 single words.
Conceptual, text-based, craft, simple, crisp, layered, subtle, visual, sculptural, precise, designed, decorative, emotive, meaningful, sophisticated, calligraphic, filmic, nostalgic.
Describe your influences using 30 single words or short phrases.
Powell & Pressburger films; the Northumbrian landscape; John Piper, Paul Nash, the English romantic tradition; folk tales and fairy stories; art and film of the 1940s; Louis Macneice, Robert Frost, Ravilious, embroidery & handstitch; books of all shapes & sizes; John Donne; Wordsworth; Tolkien; Borges; the weather; light & shadows; text; paper; the resonance of places.