Iced Gems 2014-15
Some years back I found a tiny arm on a beach, another time a leg, the best a tiny torso, perfect, statue like, a miniature Elgin but perfect in scale for tiny hands.
I was amazed that what had always seemed a fragile and inappropriate material for a children’s toy could also be so resilient to the natural wear and tumble of the waves, a remnant of childhood lingering. Biscuit baked fragility turned to strength, vulnerability to solid. Commonplace now curio.
I had never really thought much about dolls before, I had bought a couple of Frozen Charlottes at an Antique fair some years ago, a unexpected purchase, but they looked so out of context.
This year I bought lead battleships.
I have always been a beach comber, not for natural finds but traces of past, the detritus of the every day, of history, and every year coming back from my holiday with an assortment of oddments, mainly old china shards, beautiful decorative pieces, now made object in their own right.
The Babbers 2013-14
I have always had an interest in old photograph
I started looking at the crisp white bleached fabrics in the tiny photos.
I saw “Sunday Best” fresh-faced children.
Could I learn anything more by looking into the faces, staring into the details? Due to age and the softening effect of old photographic process the images already appeared edited, pared back. Would I just see an old photo of a child, innocent?
I drew them large, so I could really look into the faces, enveloped, almost shrouded, in bleach white cloth.
I found room for growth, a plumpness with dents and dimples, a softness, an excess in flesh.
I saw traces around the eyes of previous tears, the hollowness and rings of a broken nights sleep.
I also saw an unexpected hardness of expression.
The raised eyebrows and tight lips seem more than just the questioning hard stare of the innocent.
The helplessness of youth but with the eyes of an adult waiting to form.
With unease and apprehension.
The remnants of a long past emotion.
Examples from other projects
The Babbers on display in Ilfracombe