The sculpture of the figure was made for a project in 2018. I was happy that it had met the brief at the time and was well received. However, I felt that the work wasn’t me. It was too representative, not amorphous enough. For a few months the figure sat in the corner of the living room, while at the back of my mind I contemplated what to do with it. I tried to get it exhibited elsewhere but there was no interest. Should I store it in the loft? No, no point. After a few months I realised the materials needed to move on to another use. By making the piece I found new ways to use wire, joining pieces together using small twists of wire and stitching with it like thread. I had cut out the shapes for the body like a dress pattern. I found my construction style, drawing on sewing and dressmaking. I took the figure apart and stacked the pieces into a pile. They sat in my studio for another few months.

I felt that the figure should become a landscape, it had had undulations across the torso to suggest this. During autumn of 2020 I began walking sections of the Shropshire Way regularly with another artist, Jill Impey. Inspired by walking over the land; rocks, along the escarpment of Wenlock Edge, by quarries, climbing up the valley of the river Severn, gnarled tree trunks, fungi, decay and renewal, and conversation; I made the new piece. It is stitched together with coloured ribbons kept from clothing I have bought; I am compelled to use only what I have.

The work was also made during weekly Social Studio sessions organised by Raven studios, based in Shrewsbury. The sessions enable myself and currently 5 other artists the opportunity to work simultaneously, sharing a virtual space, ideas, conversation and our work. It has helped overcome the isolation of working from home that was an issue for artists and small business owners, particularly in rural areas before lockdown. We have all agreed to continue our social studio even when things get back to normal. We are all looking forward to meeting each other in person and sharing the work we’ve made.

I have titled the new work. Together II.


For a while now, I have been unhappy with my materials. It has creeped up on me slowly, until the realisation, the fact, is clear. The man-made materials: wire and silk no longer embody what I wish to say through my artwork. Overtime I have been increasing aware of my impact on the environment and realised that as well as changing my lifestyle I needed to change my art practice. Materials are at the heart of my practice so they had to change first. Then when I have changed those, how will I know what to do with them? So I had finally arrived at my idea for an Arts Council ‘Develop Your Creative Practice’ grant proposal. I spent a month writing the proposal and after several weeks I heard the brilliant news that I had been successful!

I have planned several trips through a year to learn new skills, work with the seasons and think about our relationship with the environment, as well as deepening my own relationship with nature.

My first trip was to Cumbria to work with Oak. I know I was being naïve but it was a shock that the first step was to cut down a tree! The tree was cut into sections lengthways. Then we removed the bark with a tool. Underneath the bark the tree is cold and slippery. Working a section of tree, I managed to remove the bark in one piece like a jacket.

The bark was wrapped up ready to send to a Tannery. The logs were taken back to the workshop. Once at the workshop the logs were cut into 3 or 4 sections lengthways and the heart wood was removed. Heartwood is strong and can be used to make furniture and fencing. The rest of the wood was put into a vat of water which was heated, and was left to simmer overnight.

The following morning the wood was removed from the vat. The outside of it was now black! I learnt to cut the wood down into thick even strips-well that was the idea. It was difficult technical work, which would take lots of practice to perfect. I was able to keep all the material I processed, so I have some lovely strips of oak to work with. Having got them home I feel very precious about them as I won’t be wielding a chainsaw for the sake of my art. But I learnt a lot and I loved working outside.