A little something about me…

I’ve been making ever since I was small! You could always find me happily absorbed in craft projects; quilling, fimo, decoupage… to name a few. I was always experimenting with different materials melting wax to create flowers! ( not sure how safe that was!), marbling with PVA! I can’t imagine a life without creativity !

I still enjoy experimenting with different materials and craft is still at the heart of what I do, but it`s about making the craft my own and I do that through play and experimentation. I now make jewellery, which I treat like wearable works of art, paper art and installations. After studying a mixed media degree in Fine Art in the friendly city of Cardiff, I moved to London to do a two year MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. I began my degree by painting, but soon started creating miniature paper installations and by the time I started my MA I was creating room sized textile installations. I now use a mixture of fabric, paper, wood, perspex, which I laser cut to create my work.

I am passionate about spreading the word about how wonderful creativity is! so I do lots of workshops and projects with different communities from school children to adults suffering with mental health difficulties. I have recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy, which I loved!

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inspiration

The beginnings of a window installation…..


I`ve started making the work that will be installed in the large window at St Georges Gallery, as part of Project; Happiness. There isn`t much to see at the moment, but I want to keep documenting it as I go….

Installation-stage-1Close-up-installation

It`s made from laser cut mount board; this part is 100 cm in diameter.

Project; Happiness…Goodbye to my womens` group


I have been so inspired by the women in the group; the group has always felt relaxing from the start, so I feel sad to say bye. It feels like the group was  just starting to build trust with one another; I hope they can take that spirit away with them.

We finished work off and talked about which pieces we wanted to exhibit, we also reflected on the group and our creativity….

“friendly group”

“good social life”

“would have liked it to be longer”

“learnt new skills”

“took me out of my comfort zone”

“gave me a whole new insight into myself”

“makes me want to push to do what I want to do”

“It`s brought creativity out in me again”

 

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It felt like a really special session; it amazes me how much you can achieve in such a small amount of time….the women left the group with pages and pages of creative drawings, prints, paintings.

Thank you for being so open to trying new things.

Project; Happiness…Challenge and pride…


I find it a hard balance to create a workshop that is both challenging and relaxing….being creative can really make you feel out of your comfort zone, which is how some of the women in the group may have felt on this session. One woman said, “this is the hardest thing I have ever done.”

Alongside a challenge comes the risk of feeling like you have failed….and this feeling tends to come up when peoples` perfectionist comes to the surface and someone who always tends to be a bit of a perfectionist finds it difficult when there is no clear boundaries of what is right and wrong in my experience. One of the difficulties of perfectionism is that people tend to think it is a positive attribute and they feel it helps their creativity. Perhaps it could help to drive them to get what they see as ‘right,’ but there is the problem for me…there is no ‘right’ and it is getting rid of these restrictions that is true creativity for me.

There is a bit of perfectionism in the group, but I am hoping as the weeks have gone by they have started to feel a bit freer to experiment and challenge themselves. One lady said,”…this work is the best I`ve done.” This made me really happy, as this lady had judged her work quite harshly and this acknowledgement of her pride felt really important.

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Project; Happiness….preparing for chaos when meaning happens


It was my last workshop with the refugee group and I really wanted to involve as many participants in the project as possible….I`d organised the room differently to try and accomodate for the different needs of the core group and the drop-in participants.

Of course when you prepare and expect a particular thing to happen it often doesnt!The session that took place was a real surprise…with only six people there, the smallest group yet….was by far the most meaningful I had experienced. Participants concentrated and were absorbed in the activity; it felt like so much work was done in those two hours. Language difficulties in a small group do not feel like the barrier they feel when there is a large group. One participant who  had previously just dropped in felt like she was able to get fully involved with the project on this session.

I am still hoping that other participants who dropped in will find meaning from the project when they come to the family event and the exhibition opening.

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I`m really grateful for this experience of working with such creative and inspiring people- thank you.