It has been a VERY long time since I last wrote! However, now that I am beginning a new stage in my work, and able to create daily, I thought its a great time to revisit my blog.
My name is Laura, I’m 38 and live north of London with my husband and two daughters. Until recently, I found it challenging to progress with my work, and be a full time mum. Thanks to a new studio space, and becoming a finalist in the Hand & Lock Prize 2018, I am bursting with new ideas and more time to work on them!
I am a textile designer, with a BA and MA from Chelsea College of Art and Design. I finished my studies 13 years ago. My current work is all derived from a technique I developed during my MA. I call it ‘Eternal Lace’. It is a hand stitched, needle made lace created using waste plastic bags, and then subjected to various processes. The resulting textile is malleable, yet delicate. I make wearable pieces of art, interior pieces and photography. Following my MA, over several years I did lots of shows such as Origin, gallery shows, private commissions, had my pieces in ads, and two 21st Century Ruffs were purchased by the V&A for their Permanent Contemporary Collection.
The use of waste plastic in my work is important, to bring attention to the excess waste the planet is being suffocated by. As well as this, I thrive on the challenge of working with undesirable, mass produced base materials, and transforming them into something unique.
Personally, I have struggled with extreme anxiety and depression over the last 5 years. This I believe was partly brought on by not being able to create when my children were very small and completely dependant on me. Not having space and time to ‘make’ affected me negatively, which I never expected. Now, having found a balance and finding treatments that help me, I strive to highlight the struggles of mental health in my worn art pieces. I especially relate to the physical manifestations of anxiety. I use this theme to design the pieces; which depict discomfort, fear, distortion, uneven breathing, panic attacks and paranoia. The delicacy and sculptural potential of the Eternal Lace allows me to explore all these sensory interferences. Just like a person suffering from mental health issues, the lace is unconventional; both are flawed, yet distinctive and special.
I have recently begun introducing areas of embellishment onto the lace, using Swarovski crystals, knots and stitches using plastic bags, and sequins made from used coffee pods. This is really exciting to me and I enjoy combining precious stones, with waste materials to produce a new kind of luxury!