I went to Edinburgh College of Art, thinking I would specialize in ceramics, I’d done a bit of this previously and enjoyed the sensation of working directly with my hands in clay. In my first year, I spent some time in the tapestry department and was hooked on how vibrant and diverse this form of art was. It was also working directly with the materials and what my hands could create. I then spent the next 4 years within the tapestry department as an honors student and post grad. We learnt from students in the years above us, asking questions, observing and immersing ourselves in what was possible in tapestry. By comparison the weaving department which was upstairs from us in the mezzanine level seemed staid and old fashioned in comparison with what was happening in the tapestry department downstairs.
Visiting (not), but virtually visiting and maintaining connections with the other weavers has created a community that we all have to fall back on and maintain artistic connections with. Being part of Interconnections 3 has allowed me to exhibit my work alongside that of weavers I admire.
I have various approaches to how I decide on whether I will weave a particular piece or not. I take photographs, sometimes manipulating these, sometimes using the images to then start drawing, collage work and making decisions of color and composition. I don’t draw every day, but have “bursts” of creating when a subject or idea takes my fancy, I like the process of working things through and playing around with ideas, especially around color and mark making. I don’t always have a completed finished design, but the process of working through things allows me to start a tapestry and often go with the flow.
I am interested in the Scottish landscape from a historical point of view, especially around land use, prehistoric sites, and the traces, clues and artifacts left by previous inhabitants of this country that tells us about them. I often turn to archaeology, Viking settlements, Celtic tribes and hill forts as a source of ideas. I am fascinated by marks on the landscape from prehistoric sites, and how time and weathering affects these, how our current use/abuse/global warming of the land can sometimes conceal/reveal and damage historic sites.