an artists' view

an artists' view

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

starting out

I'm presently based in Westgate Studios, Wakefield, having some time free to develop my artistic practise.

This wasn't always the case; I spent many years working in education, supporting other people to develop their creative ideas.
2007 was the year I completed my M.A. and wrote my dissertation on 'The Spiritual Landscape'. Doing the research for this became part of my renewal, and I began painting again.
Deciding whether to continue doing research for a PhD, or spend time painting, I realised the thing I wanted to do most in the world, was to paint.

So I set myself a task.
I would make 13 artworks, 1 for each of the full moons of a lunar year. Easy I thought.
I was wrong!
The task took 3 years to complete! And coping with a brush with the serious illness of my partner. But all of us survived, and the painting continued. Ever since then, I've carried on painting, and making, and managed to put work into exhibitions. I had my first solo exhibition at Wakefield Theatre's Interval Cafe in May 2008. And in the summer of 2009, I was involved in the 'I.D Cards' project with other artists from Wakefield and Israel. It was this experience which pushed me towards 2 seperate ideas.
First, was textiles.
I'd seen Carrie Scott-Huby's knitted vessels and was entranced. They were so sculptural - delicate, containers that held, and that wanted to be held. They wanted to be stroked and touched, and were incredibly tactile. Three-dimensional forms made from the line of wool.

Second, was my own identity; as a 'coal-miner's daughter'.
The painting i did for the 'ID cards' project developed from my consideration of my identity as a working class female artist, coming from a mining community. All fed by the research I'd done for my M.A.
I began exploring geology, geography, and land formations. Searching for the Pennine Coal Measures.

Since the summer of 2009, I've been grappling with these 2 disparate themes; textiles. Land formations.
Hmmm. They're not easy to reconcile. I've begun by knitting 'coal faces', in black wool.
All the knitters I've spoken to about this have told me I've started with the most difficult colour to knit with! I don't half make things hard for myself.

From here then, read

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