Artist Statement

My work over the past year has been focusing on textile installations mostly made through the process of crochet. I am interested in the perception of men and women in society today, how this impacts them and how to create an awareness of this. I use bright colours and soft textures to implicate a safe feeling within my work, with an aim to endorse comfort and relaxation. Influenced by fibre artists all over the world, I use crochet as my platform to promote peace, equality and amenity.

After personal experience of a loved one, my Degree show piece titled ‘Safe Place’ is a yarn-bomb installation with a path and garden. It is a display of what I consider my comforts and made to make you feel comfortable and safe. It is full of vibrant colours from both the wool and flowers, and is set outdoors in the fresh air. I made this piece to be a sensual experiences as you walk through, you are able to smell, hear, see and touch different things, and each visit can alternate along with the weather of the outdoors. Safe Place has taken place over the past 3 months, as each tiny square of crochet has been put together to form a taught coverage.

Safe Place is a space for you to be in touch with your inner self and find peace and calmness amongst day-to-day life.

My Purpose

I have titled my Degree show piece ‘Safe Place’. It is inspired by so many influences including artists, movements and personal experiences. My aim was to create an environment where no matter who walk in to in, felt immediately comforted and safe. The reason for this was inspired by my best friend who is like a sister to me. We met when we were 2 years old and have been best friends ever since. At the beginning of the academic year she was made homeless whilst a couple months pregnant, so had to take refuge at a women’s shelter. The domestic difficulties she experienced and that I helped her through encouraged me to create a space where everybody is equal, respected and comfortable.

I began to brainstorm what I found safe and comforting. With the initial intention to yarn-bomb or crochet for my piece, I immediately knew this would come in place with crochet being the most comforting thing I do. The process of crochet is very therapeutic as well as the comfort you feel surrounded by it. I’ve always been surrounded by textiles such as knitting, crochet and embroidery growing up from when I was very young, which is why I may find it such a huge comfort in my life.

The next thing I felt relaxed and comforted by was the beautiful outdoors; the sight of flowers in bloom and a great breath of fresh air. Despite what may seem like a contradiction I want to play with this. Traditional women’s craft which is typically a hidden hobby in the domestic sphere, was to be brought to the great outdoors amongst a garden where you can breathe and instantly feel relaxed.

Having researched in to Craftivism throughout my second and third year of university, I felt that this was an opportunity to protest domestic violence and create awareness of the services and support available to anyone in these situations.

People may not realise how much you don’t appreciate services such as women refuges or charities until you or a loved one is in need for the use of one. After the trauma and difficulties my best friend went through, I want to ensure that I can continue to support these services for men and women in unsafe domestic situations, through art, donations and awareness.

Post-Degree Show I wish to keep my granny squares and attach them together to create blankets for the homeless people on the streets of London. I hope to continue to raise awareness of domestic abuse for both men and women and the importance of the wonderful services provided for people in need.

Working alongside Madina

I have been having many conversations with Madina on my course about our degree show work. Her piece only a short walk away from mine, ties in really well together. She is looking in to the Suffragette movement and has created a bunting of washing lines across the garden behind the PTBM studios. Strictly keeping her colours to black and white, we believe there is an interesting contrast between our work but with similar intentions. We have both been keeping each other’s spirits up throughout the difficult weather conditions, both working outside. I also recommended a couple of artists to her which I think relate to her piece, and she has assisted me with simple conversations about technical aspects of my work and how we can make our pieces work together.

Jess de Wahls

Jess de Wahls is a textile artist who creates embroideries and retex sculptures. I first discovered her during her ongoing project of ‘Big Swinging Ovaries’ on Instagram, where she embroiders patches of ovaries with middle fingers or merged with other imagery. She has also embroidered patches with women posed with their arm in a position showing their bicep, representing how strong and empowering they really are.

I admire her embroideries because I have never seen such detailed embroidery like hers before. Her pieces genuinely look like paintings as she pays attention to tiny details such as shading. I also really enjoy looking at her retex sculptures, as the technique and skill behind them seek to fascinate me. Retex and soft sculptures is something I took in to consideration for my Degree show however I felt that I would like more experience with embroidery before attempting this.

The context of her work focuses on intersectional Feminism, as she creates portraits of people from all over the world of all genders. Social media, Instagram in particular, has a huge online presence of textile artists who all explore social unjust and intersectional Feminism.

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Studio Clear Out

On Saturday 27th May I headed in to university to help out with the clearance of the PTBM studios and set up of exhibition walls and space. It was such a hot day but together, everybody working in a team and communicating efficiently we managed to get it done within good time.

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Hanecdote – Hannah Hill

Hanecdote is a young embroidery artist who I discovered through Instagram. Her work explores Feminism, body positivity and the London grime scene. I admire her free hand embroidery as I respect the difficulty of the technique and the level of skill she obtains. Hannah is a really influential online presence in regards to the context of her artwork and Instagram posts, her artwork has even been used by the UAL student’s union and grime artist Nadia Rose. I was so intrigued by Hannah’s work and context that I interviewed her for my MCP.

What do you think of embroidery as a medium within a Fine Art practice?

I think embroidery is such a versatile medium, which can be used seamlessly with other mediums in endless ways. Embroidery and other textiles techniques have been used by feminist artists who want to reclaim space in the art world with mediums which don’t have such historical connections with men. 

With the ongoing development of technology, why do you think artists of our generation have decided to revert back to forms of needlework as a medium?

I think its nice to take a step back from technology and to immerse yourself in an activity which takes skill or time and concentration. I find it relaxing to focus on the process of hand making something, its so rewarding. I love technology, Im obsessed with instagram, so I actually like the contrast of a traditional medium such as stitching and then sharing on social media.

Do you think social media has impacted how women see themselves?

Social media has definitely impacted how I see myself and other women. Online I follow babes of all colours, shapes, sizes and abilities, who are beautiful inside and out and share ways of learning to love yourself. 

What does body positivity mean to you?

Body positivity means being kinder to yourself and being kinder to others. Trying to unlearn toxic thought processes about body image and beauty standards and going by what you are most comfortable with yourself. Not judging anyone else choices about their bodies. It feels like constant work but i has to be worth it in the end.

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