I joke that my Mum put a crochet hook in my hand before I could even walk. In reality I walked at 10 months and by the time my sister came along when I was Two I was already following so many women in my family by experimenting with wool and a hook. Crochet is my first creative love and remains the strongest. It pulls me back whenever I need comforting or reminding who I really am inside. It felt right to finish this residency with something I love so much and has been with me for as long as I can remember. I’ve used hooks and thread inherited from great aunty Nelly. Embodying the family heritage that taught me so much. I’ve been full of mixed emotions finishing up this work. Excitement especially with the crystal spheres and how beautifully crochet lends to the shape and more sad than I realised I would be at it all coming to an end.
I want to thank all my tutors and technicians in UWTSD for the most amazing experience and their continued support. They have touched my life in a way I hadn’t expected and leaving them weighs heavy in my heart. I felt at the start of this journey that I was in a no mans land. Now writing my last post I feel somewhat lost. But there is still so much to play for. A new course on the horizon with all the new learning and opportunities that will bring.
For all the future adventures, princesses and warriors, dream big, the world is ours for the taking.
As this residency comes close to an end, the full circle of a ring feels right. I’ve used wood, porcelain, wire and crystals. I am very much a hands on artist and enjoy the physical making process so much. I love the repetition of perfecting a design. The rings we wear (or absence of them) and where on our hands we wear them, can be a sacred bond between people or a misleading impression of our status, a symbol of wealth or our association with a group. They say so much about us to the world.
The Porcelain clay felt so fragile as I was forming the shapes. A big contrast to the hard cold feeling of wearing the rings and bracelets. The inward conversations of Me quietened even more within the calm ceramics studio space.
I’ve moved from fingers to wrists. That feeling of being held by the wrist / restrained / trapped. Taking inspiration from the angles and lines of crystals. I love the contrast between the hard Oak and the soft Jelutong wood. It feels like it echo’s the inner dialog of decisions needing to be made. Working and shaping the wood, I am enjoying the process without expectation of outcome. My mind is working behind the scene to evaluate my present situation. The lyrics from Priority Boredom by Kae Tempest have been rolling around my head these last few weeks. Pushing me to make sure I am being true to Me.
Digital Residency Recipient: Foundation Art & Design, Swansea College of Art (UWTSD)
Digital Residency Dates: 01 – 30 July 2022
Mission Gallery is pleased to announce the 2022 Jane Phillips Award Digital Residency for Art & Design Students at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. We are proud to be working with our partners at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and keen to shine a light on the high standard of work being produced by students across all disciplines.
This residency will provide an online space within the Jane Phillips Award website to display and develop work, ideas and research, while offering support and promotion through our networks.
Delving into what I want to see as an artist, I embody my ideas wholly. My working process allows the inter disciplinary process to guide the creative end result.
I am filled with emotional responses to my crochet hook, needle, sewing machine and biro like warm nostalgic feelings of an old friend and all the possibilities they create. Drawing on my surroundings, life experiences and a rich family history of crafting.
The autobiographical nature of my work spans many themes. The responsibility of my message and materials (often evident in the fragility of my work) weighs heavily on me. Crafting, refining and capturing this can lead to dark edge responses with pieces that are sometimes awkward and uncomfortable to look at. This is a place of comfort for me, where I can embrace an inner feeling that people don’t always see when they look at me, allowing a bit of truth to escape.
I would like to thank Mission Gallery for choosing me as the winner of the the Jane Phillips Award. Digital Residence for Art and Design Foundation at UWTSD Swansea. It’s a massive honour. I am grateful and really excited for what comes next.
Embracing our worst self in full understanding that we are not only that but our best self too.
The foundation course I have just finished has supported me thru this journey. Given me the confidence to believe in myself as an artist and renewed a desire within me for education and learning.
The knuckle dusters that won me this opportunity are made from wood and wool (crochet) with crystals. Exhibited in my end of year show. …Desire.
This residency is giving me time to develop and progress these designs. Experiment with materials and process. I have been back to the wood lab in uni and picked up my crochet hook. I already feel a move from the outward powerful statement of the knuckle dusters to a more inward feeling. I am in a no mans land now. Finished one course and yet to start the next. It is exciting and daunting at the same time. A natural time for self reflection. The new work I have been making looks inward to Fight ME. We enter into new stages / relationships / phases in our lives all the time. When it’s something we want, have even sought out and fought for, we are happy and give of ourselves willingly to it. Wholeheartedly blending ourselves with who or what this new situation is.
I have been exploring the part of these situations when I have realised that I am no longer who I was. Sometimes I have been ok with that. Even more, I have seen that the new me has grown and I am proud of who I have become. Being back in education has brought out the best parts of me. I have fought the lazy, contented Me to bring out the Want More Me. But other times I have lost so much of myself in situations that I hardly recognise Me and had to fight to get Me back.
It’s the moment that you realise how much you have changed and have to decide how you feel about it that I have been focusing on. Is it good for me? Do I want this? Do I like who I am now? Do I feel trapped? Am I bound to this situation?