All human beings consist of multiple layers, different experiences built up over a lifetime; my work utilizes the broad variety of skills and techniques that I have gained interconnecting with my personal emotional expression. As I now move forward after my degree my aim is for my visual language to continue to resonate with others to create an emotional response; a reaction to both the physical side of a life by the sea and an insight of the human psyche as we journey in life.
My work is continually drawn to the world around me and the strong connections I have for this Island. My final piece for my Foundation Course was a series of textile pieces based on the fishing fleet of Peel. These were created by taking photographs of colour and texture from boats which were combined with photographs depicting the names of the fishing boats I wanted to represent. These images were transferred onto material, sewn into to add texture and then manipulated to generate a series of three dimensional vessels.
For the next two years I went on a personal journey to explore and understand the emotions I have lived with since the loss of my mother when I was sixteen. I have come to understand that what happened then has had a profound influence on the person I have become. It was during this period that I started to use black biro as my main drawing medium. These drawings have evolved and now form an important part of my daily practice; it is an obsession as well as a form of relaxation. Some drawings are of observed shapes and textures; others are rooted deeper from within, creating organic forms that still appear that they could come from the natural world.
For my final year I moved my focus away from myself and explored how I could retain the emotional edge I had come to understand as the ‘absence of presence’ that I live with, but to extend that out to consider the journeys we all take in life in order to reach a wider audience.
I am seldom without a camera and use photography to record the world around me. Not in a conventional way as my images are rarely traditional landscapes, I seek out unexpected elements of pattern and texture that are overlooked by others. I have coined the term ‘hullscapes’ for my photographs of boats, as their weathered paint work and tide lines give the impression of seascapes or landscapes.
My final degree work took some of these photographs and modified them using a variety of approaches layering them with other images and drawings to provide an additional layer of meaning and context.
When I am experiencing a strong emotional response I find words and phrases going around in my mind, and find it cathartic to get the words out of my head and into the physical world. I find difficult to share these poems as they are so personal. Some will always remain hidden but I am learning that sharing these can also help others who are struggling with similar emotions.
To a degree my work has come full circle with my inspiration coming again from the coast and the weathering effects of the tides and seasons, but I now have a better understanding of why I am drawn to the rust and the cracks that I find. It is not a case of endeavouring to reconcile my past; it is an appreciation of how we are all weathered by the events that we encounter and the creative essence within me needing to communicate that to others.