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  1. About one year ago, I was working away in my studio, and I had an unprompted recollection of a recurring nightmare I used to have as a child. I have had it a handful of times as an adult during times of enormous emotional stress but as a child it's was, at times, relentless in it's regularity. 

    It would start with a black, starless void. It may of been black but I felt it's infinite vastness. Into this void, an immense piece of multi coloured open weave fabric would gradually materialise and float horizontally a little below my eye line. Then a needle and thread would appear and start languidly stitching it's way in and out of the open weave of the fabric. The thread never caught or made stitches and the movement of the needle was always smooth and implacable. Gradually the speed at which the needle moved would increase, my heartbeat, breathing and overwhelming sense of terror increasing along with the speed. Eventually I would wake, heart racing, terrified and covered in sweat.

    My sudden recollection of this, my very own personal fairytale came at a time when I was ideally placed to appreciate elements of the story I had not been fully aware of as a child. I have for years, circled around needles, stitching and thread as concepts within sketches and compositions, without ever really acknowledging their importance to me personally - always situating them within a wider, external context. Stitch and thread has now, through an understanding of it's importance to me personally plus it's significance in the wider context, become an important and consistent element of my work. In addition to using thread and stitch in my unique suspended paper cut pieces, needle and thread will also feature in my stop motion animation short which is currently a work in progress and will feature in my end of MA exhibition at the Harrogate Theatre in August 2016. 

    The image below is a screen shot from a test for the 'stitching in the void' stop motion sequence, the open weave grid has been created with cut paper.

    Stitching the void...

  2. Well, despite the best of intentions it's been over 4 months since my last post! But, I think it is fair to say that the gaps are getting a bit smaller.........

    Autumn 2015 was something of a doozy in terms of deadlines for the MA and by the time the Christmas break rolled around I felt completely wrung out - physically, emotionally and mentally. The process of constantly questioning each and every creative decision, reflecting and then responding, has and still is, both hugely rewarding and hugely exhausting. So once the final deadline was met and the Christmas break started, I gave myself permission to take a little back step and do nothing of any great significance for a few weeks - doodling and sketching were the order of the day.

    Of course, skip forward a couple of weeks and mindful of new impending deadlines, I was itching to get back on with work of a more significant nature but it seems my brain was staging a mini mutiny and was flatly refusing to focus on anything in particular. Garrrrrrr, bloomin' typical!! Any ways, it's okay now, we've had words, I gave it some space, we are back on speaking terms and all systems are go. 

    So, brain mutiny quelled - check, home studio finally sorted - check, reflexive practice - ......check

    With the end of the MA journey firmly in my sights, everything I am working on at the moment is for my final show. Inevitably, the shape of the show is constantly, subtly evolving but I can tell you with certainty that paper cutting and fairytale themes will feature heavily.....and it will be in July.....or August...

     Stitched Wolf

     

  3. It's been a fair old stretch since I last posted to my blog. Life seems to speed by at break neck speed and before you know it, months and years have passed by. 

    For the last year or so, I feel I can forgive my absence just a little. My MA has been all consuming and continues to occupy most of my time with reading and research when I am not in the studio being creative. However, if there is one thing this journey has taught me, it's that reflecting on where my creative practice has focused and where I am going to take it is an extremely useful tool in the creatives arsenal. So with that in mind, I have made a little pact with myself to post here more regularly - weekly would be great but let's be honest, it's more likely to be fortnightly isn't it? I'm not promising poetry or even coherent sentences, but hopefully it will give you some insight to my creative process and the inner workings of my mind (careful, it's quite messy in there!).

    So watch this space, more coming soon........

  4. Okay, who did it? I demand to know who snuck in and stole the last 3 months from under my nose! I am having serious trouble believing that we are already in October and once more galloping towards Christmas......... Again......... Already. 'ecky thump as they say in my neck of the woods.

    Even though time appears to be on fast forward setting, my productivity levels seems to be keeping pace with several new pieces completed and another 2 underway.