Reading is an act of co-authorship. When you pick up a book and read it, what you bring to that process is your own personal history. This is the filter through which we perceive language and by which we forge connections. My use of the book as sculptural object playfully reworks its formal components allowing the ‘reader’ to experience something altogether new. I obstruct the original narrative in order to afford the reader of the artwork minimal linguistic stimulus. In essence this simplifies, clarifies and quietens interaction so that the reader’s response can be heard.
I select materials carefully by considering the aesthetic quality of text and relevance of the book’s title. Working with old manuscripts that bear the physical imperfections and aromas of past human handling and thus retain their human presence is essential. The book or page becomes a tool for looking inwards to our evolving personal narratives rather than the read contents of the book as text. I consciously work with the text to render it difficult to read, if not at times almost absent. The fragmentation, removal and disruption of text transforms words into visual clues. By resisting meaning in purely linguistic terms the reader is invited to respond at an intuitive and emotional level. In physically exploring text, removal of text, the page, book and restructured cover I seek to construct alternative narratives, which in turn generate new meaning.
Transaction and interaction contain the echoes of previous experience. This inevitably interferes with the reception of the other person’s voice and intention so that we hear through our own history. My works explore a frustration in communication. I seek to express the difficulty of speaking without being heard, to listen either actively or ineffectively. My books and their pages become a tangible expression of those sentences suppressed or left unsaid. See work
I am a creative facilitator specializing in working with children and young people with Special Educational Needs. My priority is to enable personal voice and as much independent choice and action as possible.
I employ a wide variety of skills including stop motion and digital animation, photography, mark making and creative journalling.
My child led approach prefers not to define a project without initial consultation with the school and the pupils to afford a greater level of ownership for all involved.
I have been a Creative Practitioner for the Royal Opera House as part of their Creative Partnership programme.
Current Educational Projects
Arts Award for SEN, Music and Art as a Communication Skill: Providing opportunities for the achievement of an Arts Award at Bronze level for children with Special Educational Needs. Hertfordshire (various sites). I am now acting as a creative consultant on this project.
See website for more information The Funky Pie Company
Past Educational Projects
‘A Sense of Self’, Lonsdale School, Stevenage (SEN): Hertfordshire Creative Learning Programme 2012.
The Wroxham School, Potters Bar: Hertfordshire Creative Learning
Programme inset day 2011.
Lonsdale School, Stevenage (SEN): Creative Partnerships 2010 – 2011.
Arts Award for SEN, Music and Art as a Communication Skill 2008 – ongoing annual project. Hertfordshire (various sites)
Stevenage Museum: Stop frame animation, transition project with local Year
Six and Seven pupils working with the Extended Schools Programme. 2009 &
Arts Award animation project: Larwood School (SEN), Stevenage. April 2009.
Arts Award for SEN pilot project, Music and Art as a Communication Skill:
Providing opportunities for the achievement of an Arts Award at Bronze level for children with special educational needs. Stevenage. 2008
Hourly Paid Lecturer: University of Hertfordshire. Teaching Macromedia Flash and research skills on BA Digital Lens and Media. 2005 -2009.
Lonsdale School, Stevenage (SEN): Project continuation ‘Creative approaches to learning’. 2008 – 2009.
Creativity for Life: Creative approaches to learning. Lonsdale School, Stevenage. (SEN), 2008.