Artist Bursary Awarded

I am delighted to say that I have been awarded an a-n artist bursary to attend the Jamboree Artist, Curator and Producer networking event in Dartington in June. I will be using this opportunity to develop new artist networks with a view to creating new projects. I will be sharing my experience with fellow artists where I have my studio at Phoenix Brighton and plan to do some follow up visits to other artists and curators who will be at the Jamboree Event.

Installation at Chard Museum

My new installation commissioned by Somerset Artworks as part of Muse:Makers in MuseumsIMG_4446.JPG

has now opened at Chard Museum in Somerset and is open until Saturday 28 October 2017.

The former industries of Chard – from agriculture and lacemaking to James Gillingham’s boot-making and artificial limb production and the collar factories – all inform my installation.

 

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The town’s social histories and politics also form part of my research and my intention is to highlight the often invisible histories and contributions made by women through the generations.

I have chosen to work with different types of netting fabric to allude to the history of the local lace factories and to suggest an outline of an edifice or factory building. The fabrics and cut-outs also reference the female body and the workforce who powered the local industries.

The suspended figures are based on photographic and archive research into history of women and the different roles they have played in industry, agriculture, politics and reform in Chard.

Install7.JPGReferencing themes of the body, the machine and rural traditions-bodies, buildings and cogs merge to create the installation, which is suspended next to the machinery and working implements on display here to offer an alternative, woman-focused narrative for the local collection.Chardinstallation.JPG

 

I have also been working with the local community to realise a celebratory banner, which references Margaret Bondfield and the social and personal histories of women in Chard. It features personal motifs together with those that draw on the local landscape and architecture of the town.

Muse: Makers in Museums

I am currently working with Chard museum in Somerset as part of a Muse: Makers in Museums commission. I have been researching their collections and  in particular have been fascinated by the town’s past industrial heritage and links to textiles and clothing over the last century.

I have been especially interested in researching women in industries connected to Chard. I made these discoveries on a research and development visit a couple of weeks ago and I also met some ladies who had grown up in Chard when I was based at the museum over a few days.IMG_4191.JPGIMG_4190.JPG

They used to work as hairdressers in the town and recalled how on a Friday evening all the factory workers would pile out and want their hair washed and set ready for the weekend. Often their hair was powdered with a graphite substance which would have come from the machinery.

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Chard is known for it’s lace industry, it was a machine net that is produced still today and  used in netting products.

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The museum holds a vast collection of an old lace machine and some of the cogs and parts that would have been used in the production. I am gathering together lots of different sources to help me develop my installation.