I graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1986, with a degree in textiles (embroidery). I then spent twenty years as a free lance textile embellisher within the commercial world, mainly in fashion and theatre. This enabled me to develop an understanding of stitch, embroidery, beadwork, as well as the importance of design, innovation and professionalism within any creative practice. I returned to the UK after ten years spent living in France, undertook a PGCE, and began teaching practice, first at Chichester College, then on a distance learning programme, freelance workshops and courses, and latterly in my role as the Degree Course Leader on the Hand Embroidery Degree offered at the Royal School of Needlework, London.
In 2006 I became the Embroiderers’ Guild Scholar, a life altering experience, which enabled me to reexamine my own creative practice, the commercial work having no personal, emotive contact with me. After a one man show at the Knitting and Stitching Show, I decided to begin my Masters in Contemporary Applied Craft at the University of Cumbria, during which I explored the mark making and linear qualities of stitch, I achieved a distinction in 2009.
I live in Brighton and continue to show my work at as many opportunities as possible. I am preparing shows in Europe for the end of 2012. My media of choice is textiles. I would not identify myself as soley an embroiderer but as an artist ready to explore combinations of materials and techniques. The sensuality of textiles, and the act of working with the hands underpins the work, the making process is as important as the outcome, allowing me to experience, relive and engage with the emotional content of my work. My current work explores the relationship between desire, longing, and isolation. The works are layered representations of experience. They rely on emotional responses awakened in the viewer, whilst fulfilling a personal need to explore and understand feelings and experiences.
My teaching is focussed on enabling the student to gain an ownership of appropriate techniques in order to use these techniques to make physical manifestations of ideas and emotions. The exchange between tutor and student is vital for both parties and that the experience must be challenging, enjoyable and, at times frustrating, in order to progress and develop. I am very excited by the opportunity offered by OCA. I feel that the unique delivery format offers the potential to build a truly innovative, contemporary and relevant experience that will unlock and create future textile practitioners.