I was taught how to sew from an early age by my mother. She was Dutch and she spent the Second World War in the Netherlands making do and mending. She recycled, upcycled and made garments from old curtains amongst other things. Being thrifty led to ingenuity and creativity. She was a good role model for me. I have always loved textiles, in particular their tactility, richness and the immense variety and history of their construction. I worked in the textile industry for a number of years running libraries of fabric swatches as a resource for designers and makers, largely in the fashion industry. I have also done volunteer work for the charity Fine Cell Work which teaches prisoners how to do very fine needlework.
I have spent many years developing my drawing and painting skills taking in printmaking on the way. Textiles and their seductive possibilities were never far away though. I have done several textile courses at Citylit and am currently on the Advanced Textiles Course there.
My work is based largely on my drawings and paintings of plant forms, which I find endlessly interesting to observe. In particular, I study the close up details of their structures. I love the energy of the organic forms. I work mainly in 3D as this gives me more possibilities to express my ideas than flat 2D work.
During Lockdown I have been creating a structure using all the many plastic bags that brought shopping to my door. The structure became a metaphor for the restrictions of lockdown. I worked on it every day and found the slowness of the work and the rhythmical nature of it very calming as it provided a good antidote to the general anxiety about the pandemic.
Materials and technique: yarn made from recycled plastic bags and knitted on a knitting loom.
I love the dense, tangled plant forms that I see in the countryside. For me, they express some of the complexity, confusion and restrictions of life as it is during the pandemic.
Materials and techniques: silk fibres formed into shapes. Wire covered with my hand painted papers.
I have been creating nest shaped modules from a variety of materials based on plant structures.
Materials and techniques: string, net and embroidery threads knitted up on fine needles.
Handmade silk paper, fused plastics, embellished felts, string, paper yarn made from newsprint, machine embroidery and hand stitch
Fishy Tales (a collaborative project), Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham, August 2023
Piece by Piece, CityLit, February 2023
Stories in Stich, textiles2020. Espacio Gallery, London, April 2022
textiles2020: the show, Espacio Gallery, London, December 2020
Sewn Antidote. Contributed to a collaborative textile artwork on reflections to the first lockdown of the COVID pandemic conceived and stitched together by Lara Hailey. Accepted as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s textile collection 2020
In Transition Group Show at Citylit March 2020
Construction Site Group show at Citylit July 2019