A Bookish Type
These installations are a very different way of working to your previous career as an illustrator. Was this a reaction against the limits of working on the flat page?
Most definitely, I returned to University in order to discover all aspects of Fine Art but in reality thinking I would come away as a painter, still can’t quite believe how wrong I was.
My initial dabbles in 3D weren’t great but I had so much fun it changed my mind quite early on and though I still love drawing I can’t imagine why I ever thought I should stick with 2D work.
My work seems to get bigger with each exhibition, it’s not planned that way but I think 20 years of my work being small and precise has certainly made me realise that if you can go big – go big!
Books seems very much part of your life in different incarnations. Which books are on your bedside table?
I love to read and will read anything. I think as I have a busy job, studying my MA, being a full time parent and still trying to produce artworks that when I read I tend to veer towards fiction that I don’t have to concentrate on – real escapism type stuff. Saying that at the moment I’m reading Carolyn Steel’s ‘Hungry City’ and have a copy of Trees be Company: An anthology of poetry, alongside a book on how to identify Butterflies and Moths!
There are also many musical references in your work, both in this piece and previous pieces I have encountered of yours where you have worked with pianos and hymnals: what is the significance of the musical referencing in your work?
I was brought up loving music, my Mum would sing all the time with us as backing vocals – only around the house mind but music was always part of our daily life. My younger brother went on to study music and is an amazing guitarist, I envy him his talent. I have never been able to read music or play an instrument and would sit listening to him in awe. To make art referencing music is my way of playing an unheard instrument.
Do you have a particular favourite piece of your own work? If so - which, and why?
Probably ‘Dancefloor’, it was the reinventing of an old parquet dancehall floor that had been dumped in a skip. I hung it in the herringbone pattern, upside down from a ceiling and let it move, swaying to a silent music. The Dancefloor became the dancer.
I loved lying underneath it and watching it sway, it was so rhythmic and it was this piece that made me realise how much I wanted to be an installation artist.