I will be taking part again this year in the Central Fife Open Studios trail on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd September 2018. I will be exhibiting at Maker 2a High Street, Inverkeithing, where I'll be collating and showing work I have done over the last year. Images below are from the 2017 event.
I include painting, drawing, photography, artist's books, small scale sculpture and writing in my practice. My method of painting involves making immediate marks and applying and removing paint and other materials on the painted surface, exploring their mobility, and creating tensions and relationships with form, texture and colour. I enjoy using a methodology which creates tensions between freedom and control. I explore references to natural forms, memory and emotional states, integrating materials such as wool, found objects and collage. I also use sculptural forms, which explore states of fragility and strength. I often photograph my 3 dimensional work and re-integrate it into 2 dimensional work.
More recently I have been experimenting with another creative dimension with perfume-making. Working with my sense of smell rather than sight offers me a relaxing playing space in which to fulfil ideas and concepts.
I also enjoy socially engaged art and have been involved with several projects. I have taken part in two Central Fife Open Studios (2016 & 2017) and some of my paintings, prints and cards can be found for sale at Maker in Inverkeithing and My Cherry Pie in Kirkcaldy.
Liminal States of Being
In the last two years I have been drawn to themes of liminality, the uncanny and the unsettling. This is a direct result of being involved in a serious accident in 2016 in which I sustained severe internal injuries, experienced hallucinations during my initial treatment and have been left with damaged retinas which have reduced my sight by a large proportion. I suffered from trauma and dissociation as a result of these experiences, and continue to have challenging symptoms of PTSD. This has been life-changing, as the narrative of my life has been profoundly ruptured, entering what I have called a liminal state of being. I've found making artworks which reflected some of these experiences to be therapeutic and cathartic, but I am by no means 'at the other side' of the liminal state I found myself in. One of the symptoms of trauma is that it
"alters brain patterns, creating automatic nonverbal responses that dominate conscious verbal thinking. A result is that survivors are often unable to translate their feelings and sensations into a narrative compelling enough to mitigate the stress symptoms and provide a sense of trauma integration." Odelya Gertel Kraybill
By exploring my experience through the acts of making art, I have documented moments of joy and bliss to be found in the liminal state, and discovered ways to appreciate the extraordinary fact of consciousness and being alive. It has helped me work towards an integration of the trauma into my sense of self. I hope that these works can touch others who have experienced trauma and PTSD and give a phenomenological sense of 'what it is like' to be in that space to caregivers, friends and family of trauma sufferers.
I have placed works which are directly inspired by the accident and subsequent trauma in a separate section on this website called 'Liminal States'.