In 1989, after a chance meeting with an American ‘Art’ quilt maker whilst on holiday in Scotland, I made my first quilts. I left work in 1991 to follow my new passion and in 1998 I achieved a First Class Honors degree in Art and Design from the University of Central England. After an extended break from my artistic practice I have recently begun to make quilts again. Picking up the pieces after more than 15 years is challenging and I wanted to resume by returning to the point at which I stopped working when texture had become an important element of my work.
My current work is a journey, beginning by returning to the stage I reached in 2000 and moving forward, attempting to overcome issues relating to the construction of the pieces and finding a ‘language’ for my future work. My work is process led and references the traditions of quilt making. I am also influenced by contemporary practice, the abstract art movement of the first half of the 20th century and the ‘improvisational’ way in which some African American quilters have worked in the past. The starting point for my work is either a single fabric or the combination of two or more. I use a wide range of textiles but primarily natural fibres, some of which I dye myself. The quilts evolve and change as I work. In the final processing I relinquish control and introduce serendipity, acceptance of change, transition and impermanence paying homage to the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy. For me, each quilt ceases to be an image and becomes a three dimensional tactile ‘object’ with a life story. This is enhanced by the incorporation of new, recycled, found and donated fabrics. In my view quilts were once tactile objects which should be touched and I aim to restore that element to my work.