I am a Maker with an insatiable curiosity about the social functions of making, from nail art and baking to graffiti and Instagram.
Making is important.
Making makes people happy.
Making makes people powerful.
Making offers space and time for talking, thinking, understanding, appreciating.
The things we make, the spaces we go to do making and the relationships we form, are essential to understanding what we value (and what we don’t). Each group of makers and every place where things are made, has their own special feeling, a particular way of doing things, a culture all of their own- theirs to develop and change.
My practice is a series of investigations into making cultures, from community cafes to scientific research groups. I use familiar situations, simple making techniques and everyday materials to explore my own and other people’s relationships with Making.
In the live elements of my practice I use folk performance, crafting traditions, social media, workshops, mobile phones and jokes to open lines of communication about and through the work.
These events often result in me making intricate papercuts, which are then displayed and sold as works in their own right. Typically depicting cultural or religious symbols and created by cutting tiny repetitive shapes from a single sheet of paper (for example a boat made of love hearts or the Statue of Liberty made from Xs- to represent votes on a polling card). The paper I use can have inherent value of it’s own (a £50 note or a betting slip) and the cutting process changes this. The original worth of the paper is destroyed, but cutting creates new value(s). A percentage of money raised by selling my papercuts is always used to fund more live work. Creating a situation where my commercial art practice supports my Craftivism/ research. Through this process I invite viewers (and buyers) to become involved in this cycle and consider what the process offers to them.
Through discussions, workshops, questions, shared meals, and a little bit of ethnographic research, I want to better understand the social roles of Making- what we use it for, how we value it, what forms it takes and how Making can help communities be more inclusive, generous, useful and fun.
I document, share, and celebrate what I find by making my own work, running workshops, collaborating with other makers, devising and presenting performance lectures, creating online content, curating exhibitions, throwing parties and having informal chats.