As a child, drawing was an escape to a safe place that wasn’t located in reality and my drawings became part of my inner landscape. Going to school killed any joy to drawing and painting and gradually life took over and drawing became a thing of the past limited to doodles with a biro on napkins in cafes and on bus tickets on journeys home.
About ten years ago, (2011) I went back to childhood drawing but this time, without realising I was doing so, I including my adult experiences. Only knowing what I had been taught not to do, I tried to find my own voice, my own sense of style but always fell back to doodling people and imagined landscapes of hollowed out trees and flowers saluting at half mast. Then everyday events and life began to creep into my drawings, people I saw on the bus, buildings I passed, muted conversations in corridors, all began to appear into the drawings. Drawing became a way of unleashing my voiceless self. As I began to develop as an adult I realised that my work was speaking out but not just to and for me. Consequently I draw what I see, feel and imagine, sometimes unfiltered, sometimes with layers that have to be examined and moved away.
My themes revolve around vulnerability, strength, feminism and forgiveness and the price you pay to forgive and to withhold forgiveness. I have recurring themes that I widen as curiosity overtakes me and explore until I am content. At the moment, these themes revolve around story telling, its function and how narratives are used. I look at the damage such tales can do and then I reclaim them, so in the story of Medusa I refute the title of monster and Gorgon and draw out the willing acolyte but for saying no became a victim of oppression and misogyny. To her I give a new voice, one that resonates with her objections to her given place in the world. With Red Riding Hood I question the purpose of the story, and how warnings become hate-filled speech against the Other. The wolf becomes an older woman, making her way through the woods, seeking out a living in a world that is built to despise her.
Using the idea of maps and mapping I am currently drawing maps that hold mental, emotional and physical journeys drawn in a map form. Inspired by maps in children’s books and the way in which children can insert themselves into stories by those maps, in a place where reality blurs into the here-and-now, I recreate that physicality through detailed and individual drawn maps.