I create tactile, embroidered paintings that are both atmospheric and evocatively powerful. They marry together highly intricate embroidery with abstract landscape painting.
I was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, now based in Hampshire UK. I was fortunate to have excelled in art through my early education; winning Student of The Year at West Wales School of The Arts in 1999. Then In 2002 I received the New Designers Lucienne Day Award. In that same year I went on to study a Masters at the Royal College of Art, London, where I discovered my love for painting as well as textiles. Born from my experience at RCA and being a country girl living in London for a number of years, my influences evolved and I realised that boundaries were there to be broken and that my love affair with these two disciplines could dance together. After years of dedication and exploration, my original style emerged – embroidered abstract paintings.
Strong and free, unique and spontaneous, elegant and anarchic; this is the message I hope to convey in my work. Playful, organic forms, harmonious yet bold colours, are stitched into with hihly detailed, dynamic embroidery compositions. Stripped back to just a pure line, stroke, splatter or scribble they represent the basic, fundamental acts of mark making; pure, spontaneous and intuitive. Carefully recreated in stitch they become concious and considered acts, they aim to capture and cherish the purity of impulse, spontinaity and desire.
My contemporary painting style draws loose inspiration from the drama and light of Impressionism and Romanticism, to the sensuality of Rococo Art, combined with elements of graffiti and notions of erosion and vandalism. The impetus for my embroidery is fuelled by my love of texture and stitch. I simply don’t feel a painting is real or complete until it’s got some sort of stitch in it! The embroidery’s playful, darker side touches upon the historical and political landscape of textile art, its status and place within fine art and the stereotypes that surround it. Hence my embroidery is always ‘on top’, elevating its status as the dominant medium in my paintings.
I prefer to create each painting from memory, enabling me to produce images that are more abstracted and expressional interpretations of my memories. Each piece evolves through a highly contrasting, two-stage process; the first is with an intuitive, energetic and spontaneous approach to paint my ‘memory-scapes’. I throw, scrape, scratch, smear, wipe, roller, spray and splatter paint onto canvas. Very rarely do I pick up a brush! I paint with oils, acrylics, spray paint and pastels. The second stage is followed by a more controlled approach, with many labour intensive hours of carefully planned embroidery; a free-style machine embroidery technique where I use a sewing machine to ‘draw with stitches’ directly into the painted canvas. The final artwork results in layers of paint and stitch, that embody an arresting sense of depth and movement; an aesthetic that’s highly tactile and full of llife that conjure up an atmospheric and almost tangible sense of energy.