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and attend contemporary craft events. I also sell my work in online stores and teach creative workshops. Alongside my own creative business I also work 2 days a week as a reminiscence project co-ordinator in care homes, day centres and community groups. My days and weeks are extremely varied!


How did you find your style and has it evolved over time? After my foundation year at Art College studying painting, I changed to costume design as I was drawn to the storytelling aspect of it and the chance to work with textiles. The combination of illustration, textiles, pattern cutting, and research and design development has hugely influenced the way I work.


I am intrigued with the creation of characters and storytelling, the beautiful and the ugly, richness and decay, imperfections of character and distortions of the human body. Some would say my work has elements of folk art, fairytale and myth, baroque


with a barrel full of melancholy and a hint of the grotesque. It is a mix of all of these things.


Recently my work has been inspired by my reminiscence sessions with older people. Memories and dreams and the fact that over time parts of our story can be lost and hidden/ locked away – this leads me to think upon the parts of our character that we choose to reveal or hide. My paintings and illustrations reflect these themes and the character sculptures are influenced by childhood and a child’s ability to hold a memory close which is the perfect representation of our nature, such as dreaming of a solitary life in a windmill.


My work changes depending on whether I am more inclined to either paint or play with fabric or experiment with other materials. Recently, my character sculptures have been a regular part of my working week. Now I feel myself drawn back to painting and want


to experiment with printing and create some more sculptural work. The experience of my costume studies has ensured that I can adapt my ideas to different media but still retain a common thread throughout my work.


What keeps you motivated and inspired? It is pure and simple - I love what I do! I love working for myself and creating my own world. It can be difficult to create consistently all of the time but if I am struggling for ideas for a painting then I turn to sewing tiny hand stitches on my fragments of nature brooches or revisiting old ideas in sketchbooks. My work is so varied and no two days are the same so I am never ever bored. I only wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. Do you have any favourite artists/ makers who inspire you?


I recently discovered the work of Magali Rizzo – a French artist who uses hand-embroidery to create


Spring 2011 | ukhandmade | 85


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