Embroidering postcard memories – inspired by Roy Voss at the De La Warr Pavilion

It’s been awhile since my last post, although this is more from being extremely busy rather than having nothing to blog about! Anyway, here is a little something I’ve been working on.

I visited the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill recently, which lucky for me is just down the road, and was intrigued by their current exhibition of postcards by Roy Voss, which presents a series of postcards as a sequence. He selects one word from the back of the card and turns it around to fit it into the picture on the front. The result is a series of narratives, built through sequence and juxtaposition, that relate both to the context of the individual card and to it’s neighbours.

This got me thinking as I’m always interested in new narrative contexts and like many artists I’m an enthusiastic collector of ‘stuff’, which includes old postcards. I have a small collection that includes notes on the back from the 1940’s, 50’s and into the early 60’s, recording visits made by an unknown person and their family to a variety of British locations. They simply say: ‘I visited, 13/8/58’ or ‘All 3 of us visited here 9/8/67’, in the same cursive pencil handwriting.

My response, inspired by Voss, was to turn these postcards inside out and to bring the records to the front by tracing the text and embroidering into onto the front of the card. I’ve selected embroidery because it is favoured method of mine that enables me to explore the material and it’s context in a physical way. After embroidering a few of these cards the hand writing has become familiar to me and although the author remains a stranger whom I could not hope to trace, I hope in some small way to have brought these memories back to life.

Here are a few postcards and work in progress: IMG_9397IMG_9398IMG_9399IMG_9395


Dusters on display at University of Brighton’s Grand Parade site and the ‘Storying the Self’ Symposium

The past few weeks have seen the growing collection of dusters from my Women & Domesticity project exhibited at the University of Brighton’s Grand Parade site. They are strung across the foyer outside the cafe and enjoy the perfect position for passing people traffic. It’s been so exciting to over hear conversations about them on days when I’m teaching at the same site, I’ve also received some fantastic feedback in person and via the blog.

I was also delighted to be invited to speak at the University about this project during the Storying the Self Symposium organised by C21 Writings, which was held on the 29th March and happily coincided with the duster exhibition. I shared a panel exploring materiality with two other fantastic speakers, Jenni Cresswell and Lyn Thomas, which lead to some really interesting discussions about the language of cloth and washing line!

I take the display down tomorrow to make way for a new exhibition, but here are a few highlights.


I ran a workshop on International Women’s day (8th March) inviting staff and students to create their own dusters to contribute to the exhibition.


Hanging the dusters with help from Martha, Freya and Nadia.


New work (above) inspired by the workshop. I’m really enjoying the collage direction this is taking.


View from the mezzanine level above


A few of the dusters on display


Tea and cake opening event – complete with a very yellow cake – iced like a duster!

P.O.V – Point of View Exhibition

I’m very excited to have a selection of new dusters from my Women & Domesticity – What’s your Perspective? project included in this exhibition.

P.O.V will show from 25th March to 15th April 2017 at Project 78 Gallery, 78 Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0EJ

It will include works by Lucy Ayliffe, Sophie Bates, Natasha Caruana, Paola Ciarska, Kate Davis,  Evie Hatch, Vanessa Marr, Phoebe McElhatton and Kari Robertson.



P.O.V- the man receiving sexual gratification holds the camera herself.

P.O.V (Point Of View) describes a genre of pornography in which sexual acts are filmed from the male’s point of view on a handheld device. Project 78 Gallery showcases nine contemporary artists from different stages of their careers whose works interrogate the current state of sexual politics from an alternative point of view.

Phoebe McElhatton and Kate Davis have worked in collaboration to produce a video piece that pokes fun at mainstream heterosexual pornography and perfected artificial romance that is a product of capitalist consumer culture.

Artist researcher Lucy Ayliffe investigates how explicit online pornography has shaped attitudes towards women and modern day perceptions of female beauty. ToyBoy, 2016 confronts the viewer with SuitSupply’s spring/ summer advert campaign and is overlaid with an unnerving audio comprised of Lucy’s research archive and her interviews with focus groups asking about their pubic hair removal regimes.

Natasha Caruana’s photographic series Married Man documents her 80 encounters with married men, which she organised through online dating apps specifically designed for marital affairs. Natasha’s motivation was to ‘explore the narrative of what infidelity looked like today’.

Evie Hatch’s Wish You Were Here, a series of automatic orgasm drawings on postcards, uses drawing as a performative way of articulating female pleasure. The work’s title sarcastically subverts the expectation that an orgasm is ‘done’ to a woman, a notion that denies her an active role in sexual intimacy.

Kate Davis her print series Logging on to Love is an exploration into the development of sex robots and cybersex. This body of work encourages the viewer to question how technology impacts human interaction, intimacy and relationships.

Sophie Bates’s video Gushing and Gardening, 2015 presents research on female ejaculation and draws attention to the lack of knowledge and myths that still surround female sexuality and pleasure.

Paola Ciarska’s small-scale detailed paintings explore what it is to be a 21st century woman. The paintings depict private habitats and the acts that go on within them. Paola comments on her paintings ‘I wanted to create a self-portrait that would also function as a mirror to whoever laid eyes on it.’

Vanessa Marr’s work Women and Domesticity showcases an ongoing project in which she invites women to stitch their relationship with domesticity onto dusters. This exhibition will feature embroidered dusters created by Vanessa and a selection of other artists who have contributed to the collection. The project questions whether the expectations of women within the domestic sphere have really changed or progressed

Kari Robertson’s TOTAL CONTROL/FLATLAND/FLATPACK explores mediated forms of subject- and object-ivity through a meditation on 2d ‘flatness’, the digital and the embodied. The work is absent of any actual bodies but is a interplay between a number of agents; a torchlight, acousmetric voices, an animated mouth performing phonetics diagrams and a selection of mass-produced personal objects that spin, or dance, autonomously.

P.O.V invites the viewer to reconsider the endemically sexist and objectifying culture in which we live but have become inured to. In popular culture women are often presented as highly sexualised decorative objects that are invariably pouting or smiling, and almost always docile, submissive and unthreatening. P.O.V challenges this degrading representation of women offering a different perspective through an alternative critical lens.

P.O.V will show from 25th March to 15th April 2017 at Project 78 Gallery, 78 Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0EJ

Gallery Opening hours Wednesday- Saturday, 10am-5pm 


P.O.V will include works by:

Lucy Ayliffe


Sophie Bates


Natasha Caruana


Paola Ciarska


Kate Davis


Evie Hatch


Vanessa Marr


Phoebe McElhatton


Kari Robertson.



















Exhibition hanging with Unfold 

A busy day was had yesterday with the textiles collective Unfold, of which I am a member. The exhibition ‘Curious as an Object’ opens this weekend with the Private View this Friday.

Below are a few examples of my work responding to the theme of the beach, which the group have been exploring for the past couple of years. As a relatively new member my contribution is quite small but I’m looking forward to exploring the new theme with them over the coming months. 

My embroidered discarded pennant flags stitch new narratives onto items that have a connection with the sea. The holes worn into them by wind and weather have stories of their own; I have carefully darned these to hold the piece together whilst leaving them visible to respect these marks of age and time.

My embroidered photographs mimic the shapes and patterns viewed close up through the lens of my camera. I used the macro option with my fisheye lens to create a sense of perspective. The blurred radius on some of the images was a happy accident. 

Letterpress Fun with Make Ready Studios!

A wonderful day was had earlier this month at Make Ready Studios in Hastings, which is run by designer and letterpress expert Andrew Scrase. It was wonderful to touch the type and to get hands on and inky with it for a change. He has a great selection of wooden type too, which made progress reasonably steady and certainly produced some satisfying results. Pictures of prints to follow once they are dry…

Thank you to Kateland Clarke for taking the photos.


Exhibition at Hove Museum and Art Gallery

I’m delighted to have work in a new exhibition opening at the Hove Museum and Art Gallery near Brighton tonight, along with fellow members of the Fabula Collective. Our work collectively explores visual story telling in many forms. It’s on until 9th May 2017, more information here

Fabula Story Poster.png

My contribution includes a collection of 7 poems dolls, pictured below, which extend my exploration of female fairy tale characters and visual investigation of dusters.