Where Are We Now?
My practice interweaves many disciplines ranging from sculpture, performance, video, photography and installation. Colour, humour and accessibility are core elements of the work I produce. My work is often bold and unabashed, yet has subtle and considered concepts represented within it.
I draw inspiration from history of place, culture and people. I am drawn to industry, folk tales, religion and the things that define a community, yet am also interested in what is building our contemporary society, and finding out how the past and present can sit together. I aim to engage a non-art audience through the use of familiar and recognisable forms which I hope have enough tension or incongruity to draw curiosity and flights of fantasy in the audience’s minds.
Almost everything is new in my world at the moment. Its corny but I'm starting to understand the true meaning of liberation. I left a long term relationship, and moved back to London after a 10 year break. These physical and emotional changes have definitely impacted on my work, I feel braver, more daring, and finding a new but darker side of my practice through exploration of black humour mixed with personal experience.
Where are we now?
In general its a complex question to answer. I feel equality is the norm - however I don't know all the ins and outs. I was recently shocked to hear the story where women working for a council in Northern England learnt that they were receiving little or nothing in bonuses compared to their male colleagues. Perhaps things are not as equal as we'd like to believe - and possibly its the case that in-equality in terms of pay is being better hidden.
However in terms of visible presence, it seems to me that women are filling top roles, and positions of respect across the country, it seems less and less that we are hearing about the 1st woman to take this position or that role- could it be that is because we are conquering all our goals?!
What's to be done?
In terms of working as a self employed artist I think equality is achievable for anyone. I think the only limitation comes from holding yourself back. By this I mean I think men are better at putting themselves forward and self promoting, they are also better at asking for what they want. I think women need to not be afraid to ask for what they want as professionals - as its surprising how easily achievable it can be!
I've recently discovered the artist Miriam Mechita, her work lives in realm of the sublime, with seductive be-jeweled objects and textiles casting an air of unease over the viewer, especially when you realise everything in her world has been beheaded. From Headless deer with beads spurting in place of blood to the prints of detached heads of models frozen in an eternity of orgasm, her work constantly challenges the viewer to explore the line between ecstasy and torment.
I'm also excited by the rise of Phylida Barlow. She was my tutor in Sculpture and an extraordinary woman. Her knowledge of sculpture is inspirational and she can relate to any object in a humorous, perceptive and human level. After her many years teaching I am extremely happy to see her own art work being admired by people all over the world.
What are you looking forward to?
This weekend I'm performing with my all girl collective 'Ffaf' as part of International Women’s day in Cardiff. We are inviting the audience to join our special Brownie Guide meeting which will be an interactive event featuring songs, short sketches and gaining skills towards badges - all of which follow the brownie guide manual tradition in good faith!