Having graduated from the world renowned ‘The Glasgow School of Art’ in 1986, I have been honing my embroidered and woven skills for several decades. I have had huge highs in my career and also experienced the lows. There have been moments when throwing in the towel felt appealing and changing to a steadier career would be a better option. But, I know myself rather well and I would be left unsatisfied if I had given up the career in “walking the tight rope of an artist’s life”. I like uncertainty – I like to be challenged.
I am never afraid if a piece that I have been pouring over for weeks reaches a brick wall. This is the point when I let go of my initial thoughts and turn the idea upside down, rip it in two, loose all fear and trust that risking everything and letting go is the only way forward. That moment when divine inspiration strikes is the best feeling in the world. All of a sudden a new door opens and my curious mind is let out to play.
A rather famous American artist, who was visiting my studio, described watching my process as:
“Celebration of chance. Mastery of her craft is never an end in itself, but given raw material to be broken open so that accident can spill out and bring the work to life. Work that embraces accident speaks in an idiom the human imagination recognises. The more the artist risks, the more the art sings.”
My abstract expressionist embroidered wall art is held in numerous public, corporate, museum and private collections throughout the world. I also work with interior designers to create designs, samples and short lengths of fabrics for all manner of bespoke projects. It is fascinating working with couturier designers to see what they are creating with my ‘slash and show’ fabrics. My most private work is my collection of ‘Art to Wear’. I produce three or maybe four pieces a year for special clients who understand the intimacy and individuality of each unique, handmade piece.
Sustainability has been at the core of my work since 1999 when I created the first ‘Millennium Kilt’. No fibre is wasted in this studio, everything is recycled and re-imagined. I am a versatile artist and put this down to the medium I work in.
I am never finished nor satisfied, there is always more to be achieved. Thank goodness for another day.