Five cotton vintage men's collars, stitched cotton thread. Each approx. 43 x 10 x 0.3 cm. Exhibited 2009 at The Research Anthology Exhibition, The Winchester Gallery, to accompany publication of Gillet, J. & Harland, B. (eds.) Winchester School of Art Research Anthology.
Code-like symbols, and the differences that occur with their repeated transcription in stitch, are used as a visual metaphor for the slippage that occurs in communication, both analogue and digital. Unreadable symbols with linguistic form suggest the intention to communicate, but that the interpretive key may be missed, or missing.
Found mahogany door, wooden architrave, hand-stitched cotton organdie garments, cotton and silk thread. Approx. 188 x 88 x 45 cm. Installation room dimensions variable. BA degree installation 2008, Winchester School of Art.
Doors symbolize boundaries between worlds, but not all boundaries are physical. Psychological boundaries may welcome or prevent human contact. Taut thread, distressed wood, and crumpled empty garments engage the senses of touch and sight to unlock emotional textures of separation, longing and the embodied memory of formative human relationships. Domestic architectural detail, hand-stitching and tactile surfaces suggest that human relationships imprint on the body as well as the mind, that memories seep into the domestic environment, that absence can seem like presence, and that cloth is a surrogate for skin.
Life Thread (2008)
Glass dome, walnut wood base, scissors, linen thread. 18 x 19 x 13 cm.
The ancient Greek Fates, the Moirae, spun, measured, and fatally cut off the thread of life. Trapped within a glass dome, a pair of scissors are caught, held shut, and disarmed by linen thread tangled around them.
When Absence is Presence (2007)
Nylon monofilament. Approx. 35 cm wide, lengths variable. Installation at the Hospital of St Cross, Winchester, 2007.
This site-responsive work was inspired by the labyrinth of tunnels embedded in the walls of St Cross Church, Winchester. A rudimentary rope crossing, made of clear nylon monofilament, hangs over the North Transept linking two of these high passages. A second rope ladder scales the wall up to another walkway. Sliding between visibility and invisibility, the work sometimes catches the light, sometimes almost vanishes. The installation conveys the perception of apparent continued presence that may accompany the literal absences of bereavement, and the ways that the departed remain alive in our imaginations.
Close to the Bone (2007)
Unbleached linen, nylon boning, buckram, hand-stitched cotton thread. Approx. 80 x 24 x 21 cm. Exhibited at The Oxford Open, Modern Art Oxford, 2008.
Bereavement can be experienced bodily - worn like a garment - as well as emotionally. It may be felt as a physical unravelling, or as if part of the body - here the ribcage - were pressured or damaged by the experience. The whole structure is hand-stitched, suggesting a constructive, mending process with many small steps. Words stitched along the spine can only be read from the inside, concealing their personal content.
Touch Together (2006)
Heat-treated plastic, stitched nylon thread. Dress approx. 98 x 52 x 11 cm, rompers approx. 33 x 25.5 x 8 cm; umbilical frill 250 cm. Installation dimensions variable. Exhibited at Art and the Senses, Science Oxford, 2006.
Two translucent garments - the second skins of clothing - suggest emotionally permeable membranes through which the infant soaks up the reassurance and security needed to develop a sense of self. Thickened and distressed textures in both garments hint that this process is not always straightforward.