In my recent foray back into sewing I am drawn repeatedly to the wrong side of the fabric and it prompts me to look under other surfaces to the underside, inside, the hidden untidiness of human and unhuman life. How might printing, stitching and weaving enable a physical investigation of the wrong side, allowing any of its potential meanings and implications to jostle together within the wider ecology?  Does a tree have a right and wrong side? What does bark, skin, or coverings or fur or hair look like from the inside. What happens when a surface is turned inside out?

During lockdown I felt the need for more tangible outcomes.  Alongside walking as an ecological and participatory practice, I have been connecting back to material making, particularly in relation to textiles. It feels like a transition phase where I am discovering ways to fuse these approaches to enhance both. I am excited by the possibilities of textiles in relation to walking. How material might be made from the walk and taken for a walk. How the ‘wrong’ side might be on the outside.

Open plan walk…house, screen and sewing machine.


A word lands on a tree.

It means nothing

apart from its weight, texture, temperature, moistness

…. its possibility of integration.

I lost my journal and picked up another hoping it would be the missing book. I opened it to find these words on the paper pages. The date of the entry is February 2020. Recently I posed the question ‘What does theory feel like to a tree?’ and I had completely forgotten the previous musings which were undoubtedly precursors to an idea that appeared to come from nowhere in particular. A few months before, in November 2019, I had taken back-tracking as the focus of my residency at Joya Air in and walking had become a metaphor for the retracing of ideas and notions of returning to a place that is never the same.

A couple of pages further on I find a drawing of a bowl, above which is written ‘correction’ and below, ‘using the vessel to carry the part of us that we do not want to own’. I do not know what prompted this thought or where it took me at the time. Now the statement is provocative, maybe for different reasons.

The idea of walking with a vessel was central to a walk that I was working on with Mud Collective at the time. It was about to be cancelled due to the emerging covid pandemic. It occurs to me that jumping back to pick up previous threads whose meanings and significance have been morphed by subsequent events has been evident in my practice. Sometimes it seems like reverse causality. The journals have become vessels.


I now have over 50 of these black A5 books full of (mainly) words and sometimes drawings. The chance encounters with their pages might enable an overlay of ideas across time, a back and forth to generate new possibilities from a fusion of past and present. I imagine them piled up in my studio. What if each day I open the top book at random and when I have finished with the idea, I place it adjacent to create a new pile?… and so the looping continues.