I use the familiarity of domestic textiles to explore emotions connected to feeling safe, vulnerable and unsafe. I use my childhood toys, fairytales, fables and myths, artefacts and histories found in archives and collections to make protective blankets and vessels. I question our inherited responses to danger and safety – the real, the false and the exaggerated narratives used by families, communities, and nations to “keep us safe” and how we respond to these.
My freelance employment is community based, working with older people and adults who have learning disabilities, autism and/or are profoundly deaf. I am passionate that art should be accessible to everyone however they communicate. I was awarded a DYCP grant in 2021 to develop work on the knitting machine that is both conceptual and still accessible for people who communicate differently. This is an ongoing theme.
I run community classes in creativity, textile art, mixed media and basic printmaking, designed to develop confidence and joy in creating, and to reduce the fear of the imperfect!
In 2015, having picked up bits and pieces of arts education at night school, I joined Islington Mill Art Academy – a peer led experiment into alternative art education. During my three and a half years in the Academy I participated in two residencies that had a profound effect on my practice, and learnt printmaking skills on a year long course at Hotbed Press. I have an in-depth knowledge of textile processes, having explored, played with and studied the craft of textiles since childhood. I am currently researching the emotions connected to the word wary. Wary is the threshold between safe and unsafe, fight or flight.
Previously I worked for Salford City Council in social care and community development roles, often using craft and art as a means to bring people together to develop social and advocacy skills. In 2010, I became a self-employed community facilitator and gradually this morphed into a community art practice based around group celebration and development, particularly in the field of diversity and inclusion.
In 2019 I was selected for the Castlefield Gallery/GMCA bOlder talent development programme for older artists aged 50+ and in September 2021 was awarded an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice grant – it’s been an amazing journey.
Grants and Bursaries
Art Council England Developing Your Creative Practice Grant 06/09/2021 – 06/02/2022: Emotional inheritance & the knitting machine
Castlefield Gallery/GMCVO (Greater Manchester Combined Authority): 01/12/2019 – 30/05/2020 extended to September 2020 – bOlder talent development programme and bursary for older artists – selected to represent Salford in a group of ten artists representing each of the ten authorities in Greater Manchester.
Exhibitions, Residencies and Commissions
Rogue Artist Studios: 03/06/23 – 25/06/23. Gladley Beyond with Ten Obstructions
Castlefield Gallery/GMCA: Ageing in Place Micro-Residency: Pendleton and Charlestown, Salford. 18/04/23 to 30/06/23
The House of Smalls Art Gallery: 02/03/23 – 18/03/23. Walk the Line Exhibiton
Salford Museum and Art Gallery: 17/12/22 to 16/04/23. In the Making – with Ten Obstructions.
The World of Glass, St. Helens – 26/03/22 to 20/05/22: Through the Looking Glass, group show with Ten Obstructions (previously bOlder artists)
Castlefield Gallery New Art Space – Wigan: 12/09/21 – 17/09/21: Wigan From the Ground Up – group show with bOlder artists
Castlefield Gallery: 06/12/2020 – 23/05/2021: Obstructions Exhibition –intergenerational group show with bOlder and Salford and Manchester School of Arts Graduates. Video Tour
Instagram Exhibition: 30/07/2020 – 28/08/2020. Ten Obstructions @tenobstructions – group show with members of bOlder talent development programme.
Working Class Movement Library, Salford: 31/01/19 – 21/03/19: Guernica Remakings: guest artist Guernica Remakings – North with South: video
Tandem Theatre Company, Greater Manchester: 12/01/19 to 13/04/19 Game Changers Suffragist project
Southampton University Level 4 Gallery: 20/06/18 -01/07/18: In Search of the Basque Children: from Bilbao to Southampton to Salford – Solo show
Ordsall Hall, Salford: 18/06/17 – 24/09/17: In Search of the Basque children in Salford and Eccles – Solo show
Islington Mill: November 2016: Liminality Exhibition – group show as part of Islington Mill Art Academy
Islington Mill Art Academy Warehouse Residency: July – November 2015 Islington Mill: July 2015
Secret and Sacred: a pop-up shrine devoted to abandoned art – Solo show
Islington Mill Attic Residency: January – July 2015 Ordsall Hall Tudor Manor House: April – August 2015 – Poppy Project – Commission (Heritage Lottery Fund)
St.Clement’s Church, Salford: June – August 2014 Celebrating Diversity Wedding Project – Commission (Heritage Lottery Fund)
DIY Theatre Company: April to November 2013 Picking up the Threads – commission (Heritage Lottery Fund)
The Warrington Contemporary Open Exhibition: October 2014, 2013 and 2012.
Cow Lane Studios, Salford Open Exhibition: June 2012
Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk – West Lancashire Open Art Exhibition: July 2011 and July 2012
Creative and Community Education
Islington Mill Art Academy – January 2014 to August 2017
Hotbed Press: Complete Printmaker (Year 1) – January 2015 to January 2016
HNC in Fashion and Textiles (Knitting), BTEC Level 5, Bradford College 2009
City and Guilds Creative Studies – Embroidery, Part One (1999) and Part Two (2003), Salford College
NVQ level 3 Community Work 2001
NVQ level 3 Health and Social Care 2006
I am a Discover/Explore/Bronze and Silver Arts Award Advisor
July 2010 – present: Freelance Community Artist.
Using art for group celebration and development, I worked for a number of groups organisations and charities including Imagine, Act Sicceed (IAS), DIY Theatre Company, Oasis Academy, START in Salford, START 50+, Salford Community Leisure, City West Housing Trust, Salford Health Improvement Service, Ordsall Community Arts and Tandem Theatre Company.