I graduated from Grays School of Art in 2007 with a Master of Fine Art. I work at home in my woman-shed and my painted projects are varied. Sometimes they support my written work, as in the illustrations for my stories, at other times they may be linked to my Grandmother research usually finding creative ways to pass on Family History. Other projects include scenery for Riding for the Disabled events and other community events. Folklorish art, such as mummers/guisers costumes and the renovation of old chairs.
Chairs are enticing things to decorate. Representing an absent presence they accompany us through our lives.
These three chairs I found in recycling yards and I chose them because they showed wear and tear of decades and had been carefully mended.
These were designed for the new community centre in Luggate. With their mended and worn surfaces they remind us of our forebears. The present members of the community are invited to sit and remember who went before.
Family History Projects
I have been exploring less obvious ways of passing on family knowledge. In my interviews with grandmothers, I ask how they are managing to answer the awkward question, of what the heck the family will need, or want to know after we have passed on. What these days will be considered useful and valid in the future.
there are five categories: Scientifica, Artificialia, Naturalia, Exotica and the miraculous.
Personal Painting Projects
I like to use creativity in my life wherever it feels like appearing. I like to be a free agent. I used to worry about what kind of practice I was developing. Now I am happy to be able to enjoy the making and writing projects. I can tuck a poem into a stone wall, write and illustrate a story, paint a chair for a grandchild or even create my own family Cabinet of Curiosity out of an American kitchen cupboard.
This was the first book I made for a grandchild. It told the story of the christmas we spent together, with his family tree incorporated into the story. After I had posted it to him I felt a sense of loss, so I remade it and ever since then I have sent a copy and kept the master.
This was also for Noah. Using toast as a sneaky way to introduce a slice of family history. Although it is mostly about the history of toast and where it appears in children’s stories like Winnie the Pooh and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, I also put in family memories of toast and sent along a toasting fork for him to make toast.
Following on from a farm childhood where used a pony to get around I drive horses for the Garioch Carriage Driving for the disabled at Strathorn Farm.
I respond to invitations from the local community. It might be a talk to a seniors group or the donation of a decorated chair.