I am very interested in the interplay between text and context; or what our experiences bring to our interpretation of a word or phrase. Particularly since communication is veering away from text which is shaped by our hands or voices, I want to explore the additional meanings that can be brought to mechanically produced words by font and colour.
I have chosen to present my work as framed pieces rather than, for instance, cushions or other housewares because I want my work to give text a value that is not utilitarian. There is so much text washing over us these days that I wanted to allow words to have the space to linger in the mind and on the tongue. The hoops and mini canvases from Fred Aldous give me a way to make less formal pieces while still giving each word or letter an iconic status.
I use hand embroidery for the same reason, it brings an analogue finish to what is essentially a digital form of communication. Working by hand also gives me time with each piece. Sometimes I feel like I am being guided by the piece more than being in charge of its creation. This lion had some very particular ideas about how he was going to present himself!
Even in my commissioned work, I can sometimes send subtle messages while still giving the customer control over their piece. For instance, I used the colours of the Suffragette movement in this baby’s name piece in the hopes that it would inspire courage and dedication to good causes.
Earlier this year, I had an exhibition at Trove in Levenshulme, Manchester. The work explored the relationship between food and other human appetites – love and money. The Staff of Life used fabric I had designed around the idea of endless consumption with fonts and colours inspired by currency.