1. In the beginning …

To receive an email addressed to ‘the Artist’ is a moment of awe, of wonder and also of sheer terror. The always present voice of doubt and indecision whispers ‘but you can’t be an artist – you just draw a bit when you are bored, waiting for appointments, annoyed, happy, sad, and of course, confused. That’s not what artists do. Artists create, they explode onto the scene with accompanying thrills and fanfare’.

Of course, this is not true but since when has truth ever mattered to the confusion that is my brain. So here I am. A dyslexic Arts and Minds Supported Artists and you, dear reader, are my audience. So please excuse any spelling mistakes or curious turns of phrasing. My mind is a chaotic jumble of thoughts, experiences, holes, and an insatiable curiosity to find out how this damn world ticks.

Hopefully my musings will highlight both practical and philosophical issues.  I will look at how I create my work and the ideas and thoughts behind the symbols used and the way symbols can be twisted, fractured and rediscovered as well as how one goes from a good idea written in a proposal to creating a piece of art that will be made  and exhibited in Leeds Museum.

I will explain how the idea was to originally use poster paints (an art medium I have never used)  which proved sadly incapable of revealing  light, colour and pattern in my work to decisions surrounding which type of Sharpie is good for permanently marking acrylic, to where exactly does one get a sodding great piece of cheap clear plastic and then how to sweet talk the bus driver into letting you onto a Metro bus without breaking the bus, the perspex or your fellow passengers.

A journey to Scrap, a Creative Reuse Art Project Ltd in Farsley (http://www.scrapstuff.co.uk) provided a rich array of acrylic, perspex and sticky back plastic for a reasonable amount.

I will explore and share my inspirations and fascinations as the work progresses and will reveal how Henry Moore’s Reclining Woman, who lies languid and silent outside Leeds art gallery, became a particular issue for me and how this once loved icon is re-read and re-imagined,  from my black mixed heritage feminist understanding,  to reclaim her as a Black Power feminist icon for Leeds.

It takes both nerve and thick skin to precariously balance on the edge of Henry Moore’s Reclining Woman to take a photograph at this angle especially when accompanied by helpful and not so helpful comments from strangers. Henry Moore – ‘Reclining Woman’ 1981

My new exploration of images using embroidery, a new phase for me, will also be posted as well as the more familiar and known images using pen and ink.  The embroidery out of a love of contrariness and things you can’t quite control as needle and thread, in my hands at least, refuse to conform to the ways of pen and paper leads to the expression of new emotions and thoughts.

As for the philosophical?  Well, the philosophical aspect happens any and every time we give in to our curiosity and ask ‘why?’ and I shall be doing that a lot.

So here’s to the beginning …


A doodle in embroidery was limited to two colours as that is all I had left in the box. That I do them as I go along is very much like my art work, having no use for a rubber I incorporate the mistakes into the whole, reflecting the strong belief I have that perfection is not something to be strived for in creativity.