In short, I was born in South Africa and moved to England when I was 21. After travelling, I lived in London for many years before moving to North Essex, where the open skies remind me of home. Apart from my art, my life revolves around gardening and the sea.
An old slide showing my mum overlooking what I think is the Blyde River Canyon.
Reflecting on my art practice through the years, the pre-occupation has connected threads from England to South Africa. The longing to recreate elements of home, whether it be through colour or using family-treasured things, is woven through my work. The smell of a veld fire evokes driving along with my dad and black ash drifting by in the cold Johannesburg winter sky. Memories that have gained importance against those discarded. This fixation on understanding the nature of memory has led me to my current practice of creating Memory Tools. I am researching how much truth lies in our memories. If these memories are 'wrong', having been misremembered or manipulated, then how true are we? These memories are the signposts of ourselves. Without these truths, do we become lost? Connecting to the much-loved family memorabilia makes the intangible truths easier to hold onto.
Another old family slide showing my dad with my sister and I.
Current Artist statement:
The Memory Tool is a speculative metaphor exploring the relationships between the maker, the memory and the thing. Forgetting or misremembering a memory through a valued heirloom marking time through the scuff marks or scratches. The initial catalyst for the project was my dad's woodworking tools. I would spend hours watching him working away. Each Memory Tool's name refers to a woodworking term reinforcing my speculative ideas.
The trace of myself in the work is part of the research into the transactional relationship between the maker, the thing and the memory. As a result of these exchanges, the thing will have agency. My material-led methodology is vital in exploring how materials can become part of the narrative. After constructing the tools primarily from fabric and stitch, they are directly cast in bronze. Stitching is a tool for contemplating memory. Screws and bolts with other memory-imbued materials are added post-casting. Each tool holds the narrative of the memory, both through the making and the time of the memory shared with the infinite possibilities of this story changing.