Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Another foundling

Posting here too as I've got fresh-from-the-hook work:
I’m struggling with writing my proposal – it’s so much easier to find words after the fact. Often I come to see what I want to say when I look at my work, but projecting into the future from loose ideas is a challenge. How do you account for all those things that happen along the process of making, those shifts and turns? So I’m taking a break to show you my newest foundling. Usually the starting point for a specific piece is to zoom in on a feeling, and keep distilling to some sort of (imagined, temporary) essence. I make tiny, sometimes life-size, sketches until I find a shape that interests me, choose a material and begin. A lot is worked out on the way – if it doesn’t look right I unravel and try again.
I evoke the body to speak about the psyche. Looking at my two foundlings I suddenly thought of toddlers holding out their arms to be picked up, and how children learn about the shape and outlines of their bodies through touch, being held, caressed, and what the lack thereof might do. Had the idea of limbs becoming vestigial because of under-use, a regression to something rudimentary: arm-buds. I felt compelled to try the gesture out, sitting or lying on the floor, and found myself falling back into something very old. This interests me, memories stored in the body…
Anyway, this is not something I thought about consciously when I started, it’s something I see now. Not sure how clear the images are for you, but there aren’t any openings for the arms. I make my diminutive outfits as close to ‘real’, to ‘normal’ as possible. It takes a moment, at least a second or third glance, for the shapes to become unsettling and, I hope, something will arise from the absurd, the strange physicality evoked.

Foundling (2012)
Material: Crocheted from cotton-thread 
Dimensions: 24 cm x 27.5 cm

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Tidbit 9

...As you know I’m hungry for direct communication with other artists. Two posts ago I reported on conversations with Julia Vogl (you can listen to some of her interviews on Resonance FM tomorrow at 4.30 pm). On Friday Shelley Rae came to my house (two artists in one month!). ...

If you'd like to read more go to
 Sleep-drunk I dance

Friday, 20 July 2012


As promised I'm posting here too when I've got fresh-from-the-hook work to present:
Meet the first in a new series, inspired by a visit last year of Threads of Feeling at the Foundling Museuma moving exhibition of selected textile tokens from the 18th century, at the time the only permitted means of identification for the babies left at London Foundling Hospital’s doors.
I crocheted the piece with a thin hook as I wanted a weave of tight, dense stitches, almost unyielding to the touch, like a suit of armour, a carapace of sorts. A shape to grow into or out of… The work is deliberately flat while preserving the potential wearability of a garment. I’m drawn to between-ness - 2D/3D, outfit/image, crochet/painterly, real/imaginary, sweet/perturbing.
Much of my work is about inscribing difference in a subtle, intimate way: something missing, something in excess, something just very slightly other, that catches you unaware, stings you a little and then a little more.
Would you think that crocheting leaves (admittedly small) marks on the body? I managed to get another callus on the tip of my left middle-finger, with a wee hole at its centre… Ouch!
My Acrobat was not selected for Outside the White Cube, alas. No somersaults… In need of chocolate, kisses, spirits, in that order.
But I’m glad I’m writing here about my first foundling, it’s focused my thinking and given me another idea, a new place to take things. Yay! Somersaults after all.

Foundling (2011/12)
Material: Crocheted from cotton-thread
Dimensions: 24 cm x 28 cm

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Tidbit 8

...Had some real, by which I mean person-to-person, face-to-face, art-contact this week, hey! The artist Julia Vogl came with a friend to interview me for her project HOME. She has made a conscious decision to make public art her focus of practice, away from the pristine white gallery-spaces where only a limited spectrum of the population actually venture, to more accessible, (at least temporarily) shared spaces. Art that involves people, as contributors and as audiences, in this case in Peckham, Southeast-London. ...

If you'd like to read more go to Sleep-drunk I dance

Monday, 9 July 2012

Tidbit 7

...With my eyes on the plan I started writing this post right after the first phone-call. In the end I was able to pick up the piece on Friday, just before closing time, luckily with M., who at lighting speed rearranged her whole day to fit in with me, a thousand blessings on her lovely head! The work is shortlisted for 2012 Outside the White Cube Open Exhibition, for which it needs to be framed, which is why I almost bankrupted myself, but I must say, it does look glorious and hopefully it will be in the show and maybe somebody would like to buy it, please pretty please… 

If you'd like to read more go to Sleep-drunk I dance

Monday, 2 July 2012

Tidbit 6

...On Saturday I discovered that my blog has been second on a-n’s list of Top Ten Artists talking blogs for two months running. Couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m not going to be coy about it (although I fully intended to when I thought about posting here today) – I’m chuffed. Quickly grabbed a screen-pic, no: two… Lalala lala lala. I’ve got readers! It seems I’m not holding monologues!...

If you'd like to read more go to Sleep-drunk I dance