Where to start?
After leaving a stressful redundancy behind, I had a series of part time jobs, some okay and some ....um...not quite so okay.
At that time I was also studying with the Open College of the Arts towards a textile degree, and was creating knarled silver birch trees by melting and distressing fabrics, but a chance finding of vintage bus tickets at a car boot sale, completely changed how I work.
Taking them home and still thinking like a textiler, I wondered whether I should weave with them, but quickly decided that they had a story to tell, and should be used in a way that had a nod to the past, consequently I created a person waiting at a bus stop.
Overwhelmed with the reception it received, I created the "Tickets Please" collection, a whole series of people waiting at bus stops from vintage bus tickets, and then later, when I heard that tax discs were going to be phased out of circulation, I created the "Taxing Rides" collection of cyclists as a way to preserve this piece of social history.
As people are always giving me things, I'm constantly inspired, and still keeping my ethos of telling a story through the item, I now have cyclists, runners, walkers, triathletes, gardeners, campers and, swimmers. I seem to have found my niche with quirky outdoorsy people.
Since then I've started playing around with found things other than papers, going back to my textile roots and creating 3 dimensional textile sculptures.
The last couple of years have been incredibly exciting,
My work was recognised and awarded with prizes and nominations: including First Prize in a national competition for upcycling artists, I was "artist in residence" in my home town of Ilkeston, received a nomination for an International award, and was awarded "Best of Broxtowe Small business" finalist,
I've featured in several publications including Reloved a glossy magazine focusing on upcycling art. and Arts Beat magazine and even been featured on BBC Radio Derby (I have a face for radio)
I was also super proud to be an official sponsor of the Double or Quit race organised by Ilkeston Running Club as well as creating a very special prize for their awards ceremony. I'm really proud to have created prizes for the Darren Holloway Memorial Fell Race, which is one of the English and British Fell Running Championship fell races - .
(...pauses for breath...) I've opened my own micro gallery, The Hard to Find Gallery which features my own work, and work of upcycling artists that I admire.
and I am incredibly humbled to have my work on permanent display at Derby Royal Hospital - knowing that my work helps to give people a smile, if only briefly, is, in all honesty, beyond words.