CAST is a body of work created in response to spending time in Bradford, Nottingham and Hull. In each city I planned routes and whilst journeying sketched, made notes and took photographs. From this preparatory work I created bespoke exhibitions in each city with added elements from each urban walk, and by doing so made connections and a ‘thread’ from each place to the next. I used and combined a variety of media within each show – drawings, text, mono prints, photographs, porcelain cast objects and assemblage from found and made objects. CAST was a piece of work that revealed often hidden aspects of a city, and encouraged and enabled the viewer to see elements of a city often overlooked and passed by.
I have continued to develop the work through collecting, sketching and making. CAST enabled me to view and experience cities from several viewpoints and the work led me onto the theme of SHELTER and homelessness and the need for people to find shelter and sanctuary within cities. I am now completing a research and development project funded by Arts Council Making Ways into the political and social context that is the ‘backdrop’ to the current shortage of housing and increase in those in need of sanctuary. Through interviews and conversations with a range of organisations in Sheffield, I am gaining greater knowledge and understanding of the theme and exploring how I as an artist can create work that is participatory, informative and engaging.
TRAVERSE: To travel across or through.
The inspiration for this body of work has been spending time in nature journeying, walking paths through woods, by rivers, along valleys and taking time to look out at panoramic views that encompass all these and more. Not only have the larger aspects of the landscape inspired and captivated me such as clouds floating overhead and sweeping shadows across hills, but also the smaller elements such as a grass as it is blown about in a gentle breeze, a tiny acorn shell or a broken piece of bird’s egg fallen from a nest.
Living in Sheffield for many years now, I have spent most of my artistic career creating work in response to Sheffield and other cities, and have a real passion for, and interest in, exploring the physical environment of a city and the varied communities that live side by side. I have found great inspiration from the urban environment, and a have a strong belief of how artists can create change, particularly when involving others in the creative process. I have also always enjoyed sketching when in the natural landscape, and this is the first time I have created a body of work for exhibition as a result of spending time in nature. Using a variety of medium and scale ‘Traverse’ depicts physical places, along with an internal imaginary space, which I often find when observing and walking (in a city or in nature), so the pieces reflect a ‘crossing over’ or being present in ‘between time’. I was born and brought up in North Yorkshire, and as a child spent hours in the countryside exploring and playing, when one would set out for a day in the morning and reappear home in time for tea. Nature was a permanent backdrop to my life. Therefore ‘Traverse’ is not only a reflection of my recent time spent predominantly in the Derbyshire landscape, but has to some extent also been a rediscovery for me. I hope you enjoy the results.