Category Archives: Soft Sculpture

I am an Artist


Facing my reflection

Today I had what I think they call a Damascus moment. I’m no spring chicken, next year I turn 50, half a blimmin century and I think I’m going to have a Croning ceremony as I embrace my status as an older  Feminist woman in our society. But this post isn’t about that. Although it does have something to do with my Feminist stance.

Let me explain…

I grew up believing my  ultimate goal as a woman was to grow up and get married. Some day my prince will come… I used to go to sleep as a young girl of 6 or 7 with my hair spread out beautifully on my pillow just in case my prince came in the door at night.

I did grow up and get married, not before having a stint in art school and discovering that I had a talent for drawing and painting. My tutors and colleagues really believed in me. It was a pity that I somehow never shared their belief.

Why didn’t I believe?

I think it was because my mum repeatedly told me that I was not an artist and never would be because I could only copy.

Those words would burn deep into my psyche and end up echoing round my head as an adolescent, then right throughout my adulthood. Until now.

But I’m running before I’ve learned to walk. So I got married and had two beautiful daughters who have now grown up to be wonderful young women, one of whom has a daughter of her own. I’m now a proud grandma.

I’m no longer married. Nobody told me that the Disney princess prophesy ended like this.

But I moved on and I grew. I now don’t believe in marriage. My goals in life have changed. When I grow up I want to be an artist instead.

Well, today I think I grew up.

After spending a day with my eldest artistic daughter at the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery it suddenly struck me. I should have my work on the walls. There was no reason why I couldn’t be amongst this fabulous display of diverse portraiture. What was I waiting for? I had already painted a portrait of a street drinker friend I had made about 10 years ago that I think would be worthy of submission. Jimmy1 Jimmy2 Jimmy3 Jimmy4For over ten years this painting had been rolled up in a corner, hiding. Today I took it out and looked at it with new eyes.  The word started to bubble up.

ARTIST.

I was waiting to embrace the word. The word that for almost 40 years had felt far too big for me to handle. ARTIST.

It was hard to say. ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist, you can only copy) Shut up mum.

ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist … )

ARTIST. I AM AN ARTIST.

I went around my flat with my little camera, taking photos of myself , not smiling. Not posing. Just being me. Being serious. Taking myself seriously.  Just being me, the artist. Not the woman, not the mother, not the children’s entertainer, just me. THE ARTIST.

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Then I started to feel like including myself and my work. My flat is full of my work. From painting and drawing to soft sculpture. It is a veritable private temple of my creativity. It’s time to go public and stop being afraid of showing the real me.

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So  Mum. Now what do you think?

I’m a mother fucking artist.

Yes I am. Oh yes I am.

And today is the beginning of my artist journey as an artist. Not an apologist.

Unlike the adolescent me who had the ability but nothing to say with it, I’ve got so much to say now , it is hard to know where to start.

I’m starting tomorrow. Tomorrow I paint.

I am a woman and I am an artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creepy crochet oddities


I’ve made crochet dollies, even creepy crochet dollies and I’ve made cats and dogs from crochet. Now of course , in an obvious step, I’ve combined the two.

Now I’m making Crochet animal /human mix ups; crochet anthropomorphism if you will.

But why use words, when a picture tells the story far better?pugwoman12 pugwoman13 pugwoman16 box1 box6 bun9 kit6 kit16 kit18 kit24 Rooster Rooster2 Rooster3 Rooster5 Rooster7So  far there has been Pugwoman, a very worried looking lady with a few extra nipples with a very classical air.

Then there’s Bunny Girl, a very seductive creature indeed.

Then Kit E Kat , a pussy cat with a pvc mini skirt and black feather neckpiece.

Finally, probably the strangest of all so far is Cock a Doodle Dude. He’s pretty self explanatory.

I’m going to eventually set these dollies in environments to create art pieces  in their own right. ( Apart from Bunny Girl and Kit E Kat who are for sale in the wonderful alternative space that is the Brighton Arts Club. )

 

There will be others. My imagination is teeming with them , all woofing, miaaowing and mooing to get out.

Need more time…

 

Gallery

Stepping through the looking glass

This gallery contains 9 photos.


    Things have been really exciting recently. My crochet work has taken a brand new direction. Complimenting the bright and beautiful crochet goods I  have been making over at CrochetBrightandBeautiful  I have stepped through the looking glass that I … Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday


All my own work.

From little body parts to puppets


I love making babies ... from fabric that is.

I’ve always loved sewing. I think it was my Nan who got me into it. She loved a bit of embroidery she did, and butterflies.

My mum, Nan and me, proudly showing my new red shoes.

I have fidgety fingers, I can’t just sit and watch telly like other people. I like to be doing something, I can’t explain it, it just feels wrong not to be doing something with my hands.

So I learned to knit and sew before I was ten and I loved it. I loved making my own clothes or adapting old ones. It was not much of a surprise that I ended up at Art College after school. I   studied Fine Art , Painting and cut a long sad story short, I didn’t finish the final third year and went out to work to earn a living.

My mum showing off one of my paintings

Fast forward a few years and I was married and proud mum to my first daughter.

I soon realised being a mum didn’t go too well with being an artist. ( I do consider myself a radical feminist but I am also a realist. I wanted to be the best Mum I could be and the best artist I could be but I realised that one had to give. It was a no brainer really) To paint the way I wanted , nay needed to paint , I needed to be alone with nothing to think about for weeks. Hmm… as a new mum that was never going to happen was it?

So inspired by artists Mirella Paganuzzi, Michelle Howarth and Mandy HaversI started to sew body parts. Body parts grew into babies,

A sewn fetus

fetuses

A bust of my second child

and limbless busts.

They were never pretty, sometimes grotesque but always created  a reaction which was something I enjoyed.

My home is filled with these strange creatures

So this is where the puppet thing began. A soft sculpture turned into a puppet, I did a show for my eldest daughter’s birthday party and the rest is history.

An unfinished baby, sewn in velveteen

I’m still making stuff . It’s been a long time since I sewed a baby though.

Old man

Stick around and I’ll show you what else I make.