A constructed 3m3 room with windows on three sides, open on the last side. Inside the room are four windows on separate stands approximately 2m high and 1m wide. The windows were free on marketplace. On the windows hang digital images printed on silk organza. The images are of relatives of the Dementia support group who responded to my request for photos taken during window visits to be used in my work.
I hope this piece conveys the isolation of a care home bedroom, of the sadness of visiting through a window, of lives fading away behind closed doors.
Ravel is a contranym. It can mean to knit together or to unknit. This piece consists of my mother’s knitted squares, made during her long solitary hours during lockdown. Knitting brings her some time to reflect on her memories. There are nearly one hundred squares made in a variety of colours and materials. Some are stitched together as a long strip, some in the beginnings of a blanket, many more are left in piles. The knitting has no purpose other than passing time. With the knitting are my mother-in-law’s hands, cast in white marble Jesmonite and epoxy resin. My mother-in-law has dementia, and her hands are never at peace. They are usually searching for and playing with a tissue.
This piece hopes to convey the discomfort of ravelling memories for one person, whilst knitting brings peace and comfort in the ravelling of memories for another.
82 A4 photos machine stitched together. Grey satin binding with cotton threads attached. Quilt is made from old family photos of my mother-in-law in her youth. I found these photos in an old suitcase and I was curious to see the woman I know when she was young. I discussed them with her in the hope she would remember more of her past. Some photos were of interest, but then I realised that her memories of these times have become lost, and she was mixing things together to create new stories. Confabulation is common among people with dementia when a new history is created amid the truth.
These photos are not part of my history, but they are full of familiar faces, of family and friends that were part of a large extended group to be found at gatherings and parties. By printing them onto tracing paper I transformed the texture of the photos. They became translucent, like my mother-in-law’s memory. Coating them in PVA transformed them again, making them brittle and fragile, again like ageing memories.
I stitched them into a quilt as dementia had once been described to me as having a blanket of memories with frayed holes and so I created my own blanket of confabulated memories with holes. Cotton threads hanging from the binding symbolise unravelling and hanging on to memories by a thread.
I have been influenced by some great artists, some well-known, others less so. I have been fortunate to have Si Sapsford and Su Stockwell as tutors. Mark Sowden has been an amazing resource and mentor. On this page I hope to use the ideas and skills they have so generously helped me develop.
Welcome to “Lamentations” Wood, Ceramic, Wire, Cotton. 5 pieces- dimensions (largest point) H.45cm x w 25 cm on 10×10 cm base.
I first became interested in resin work after the exhibition by Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain 12th September 2017- 12th January 2018. Whiteread has spent years working with resin on both a large and small scale, and I love the clarity and light she produces in her work. It was a stimulus for my own work, starting small to see what I could produce. I soon discovered that resin is a fickle material that throws up many obstacles and toxic vapours. I have found a less toxic variety that allows me to work in smaller spaces and experiment more.
Bronze casting is an exciting development in my work. Usually too expensive to contemplate, I have been fortunate to undertake the work personally and save on costs.
Slip-casting is a useful method of creating multiples, which my work relies on heavily. The process of making moulds can be challenging, and experimenting with various materials always brings surprises.
Clay building allows me the freedom to create form both organically and sculpturally. I use pressing into moulds, hand building and coiling to create my work.
Casting in wax allows me to experiment in a sketch format. It is a quick and easy way to test both my ideas and my mould making.