If you are thinking you never got to see where Colin Cat, Christine Caterpillar and friends eventually ended up on their journeys some serious time ago then you would be right… I could bore you with the truth of how I lost faith in my talent and no longer wished to share it with the world.. but I would much rather feed you some elaborate story of how they all fell down some rabbit hole, lost in the abyss and one day reappeared in some twisted dream called Narnia.
So here we go…
Colin and co. all met as they tumbled down a network of rabbit holes and came to an all mighty thump at the bottom. Here they sat for some time wondering how they would get out? Where they would go next? and would they possibly all have to travel there together?!
So far no one had said boo to a flamingo, but of course that wasn’t going to last, as the new addition Charles the chameleon came clumsily amongst them.
“He..he…he..llooo”, he stuttered, “I…i…i’m so tewwibly lost, do you know where we are?”
” We obviously do not belong here either you pomme de terre, and if you don’t mind you are standing on my tail!” muttered Colin arrogantly.
” well for one reason or another we are all here.. I was on a ship not too long ago, being very well cared for by Sven, when he let me free here in to my home, then you all came tumbling down to join me. I mean look at you all! What use is a saber tooth without giant teeth!” exclaimed Christine.
Before Colin even had a chance to consider a retaliation, Christine was off again.
“Now that you have all come and ruined my home I suggest we all look to get out of here, working as a team, as the sooner we get out, the sooner we can confront Sven about this terrible living situation!”
They all grumbled in agreement and started to formulate a plan of action, no one was going to argue with a 12ft caterpillar after all!!
For a project similar to Outside the White Cube I experimented with how to interact with the traditional gallery space of the white cube, so called because of its cube like nature and the fact that most spaces are pristine white walls on every side before the work has chance to interact with them. In this project I was required to build the work for the space as opposed to designing a work and then finding where it fits into the gallery. For me this was an initial challenge as each artist was assigned a space that could amount to no more than one metre cubed and having to consider how to fill a space definitely played tricks on my mind. Through tireless research and determination to grasp the understanding of how this pending work would fit into the space I realised that the answer lay right under my nose, in the form of colour in the tradition white cube gallery space. I obsessively gathered wool in an array of colours but being unable to knit left me with the puzzle of how to draw them all together. I began to experiment with different techniques such as making pom-poms but this didn’t have the effect I desired, I decided the design needed to be more linear in order to emphasise how it interacted with the space and thus began to wrap willow stick in the wool in precise measured blocks of colour. When placed together the sticks interacted with the space in every dimension as they formed their own tensions, relying on each other for support and flowed across open space held in place by gravity and the placement of the wall and floor.
Colour is a key theme across all of my works and whilst this may be more minimal compared to some of my other works it still carries the same notes of craft and production and drawing together of simple everyday things to make something captivating and eye pleasing.
For a project titled ‘Outside the White Cube’ I experimented with the concept of scale and once again taking items which had an aspect of play associated with them, model train accessories. Using the small scale people, trees, animals and buildings that are used in creating model train sets I took them away from their function and placed them in every day scenarios across York City Centre, essentially invading the town with a mini community intervention. The work was not only to do with the key aspects of scale and play but also to see how the public reacted towards them, to perhaps illustrate that we are often in such a hurry in our home city that we never stop to appreciate and truly take in what surrounds us.All of us are guilty of being so pre-occupied that in reality there could be real life mini towns within our towns and we would be non the wiser.
Mail art is a process via which you assume a new identity and send art through a secret contact list in the Royal Mail postal system. It is through Mail Art that I first began to experiment with textiles and their ability to provide a fun narrative or a childhood enjoyment. I recall when I was younger sitting in on stormy days making making puppets out of my dad’s socks, I realised that these would be relatively easy to send via post and fun to play with. As the correspondences grew and grew throughout the network I began to give the characters I created human qualities. Illness and instructions on how to care for them, allergies, favourite activities etc. I was fast to identify that this process was not just about the enjoyment of what I was producing but the method through which I was achieving it. Learning to use a sewing machine and planning how to create the desired creature became a fun time consuming act and I started to consider scale. What would happen if I made a giant sock rabbit? I hurried around gathering as many white socks as i could and started to form a giant sock rabbit with the added help of a little felt and some chicken wire to help it keep it’s shape and hey presto I had one giant, fully functional sock rabbit!
Whilst producing this giant I also continued to make the small toys too, but I had to figure out how to display all the mail art I had received. I decided to run with the theme of fun but to also consider the history of mail in transit. It soon dawned on me that carrier pigeon’s were my solution. However due to my disliking of the creatures I couldn’t get real ones so instead had to settle for some decoy pigeons rigged up with sound. I feel this added to the surreal experience my work offered as whilst these pigeons had all the features of their feather friends they would never be able to take flight.
From a young age I have simply loved to burrow, I would burrow all day long given half the chance! It got to a point though where I was digging burrows that were so deep my mother, Berta, would send me off with a pocket full of carrots and turnips to keep my energy up and so I wouldn’t get too hungry. I used to grumble when she gave me the packed lunch and sent me on my way but today I realised just how grateful I was. Today was the day I made my debut into the world of adulthood you see, I left the family warren on a mission to find myself and see the world and all it has to offer for myself. As I was putting my pro- burrowing skills into action and cursing the extra-weight of my mothers food parcel I realised I had left my map on my desk, so I turned around and headed back only to find the tunnel had collapsed! So terribly that even I couldn’t burrow back out of it, so I now had no choice but to carry on forwards. I guess this is the true meaning of adventure! I can only imagine where I might end up…so you will have to forgive my lack of picture..I will have to get back to you on that one once I burrow my way back into the light. But for now I’m going back to eating those carrot sticks I am very grateful for! My mum even packed me a tasty bit of carrot cake for dessert, I do love that raisin and carrot combination!
Bojour! You enjoying my moustache? Bet you think I’m French and a chef don’t you… WELL DON’T BE SO ASSUMING.
Ahaahahaha your face was a picture! Just joking I am French really,well half french anyway, on my Mum’s side and my Dad is English hence my peculiar looks. I prefer to call myself quirky and edgy personally.Where do I see myself in 12 months time you say? Well as a model obviously! I hear the likes of Vogue love that foxy and edgy look and let’s be honest I am clearly both. In fact I don’t like to brag or anything but after 23 months of pestering one agency in particular day in and day out-quite literally might I just add. Except for Christmas and my Birthday of course. Anyway they tried to get me to stop calling but my persistence has finally paid off! They FINALLY answered the other day with some amazing news! They said they have a job coming up and they think my look is just perfect for it, they are even paying for my travel costs and a place to stay and they think I will work so well in this job they have only booked me one way tickets! I just can’t believe my luck! I’m a true professional now you know darling! But be sure to look out for me in the show they are sending me for. It’s called Narnia, yep, I can see it in your face now, you are well jealous!
Hello there old chap! How are you? Don’t worry I won’t bite. Wait! Unless…you are one of those pesky shrimps. But you don’t look like one of them so you’re okay, those annoying little things are always running around trying to clean my scales, I manage to keep them away from most but when i can’t reach the ones on my back my arms are too short. It’s not that I don’t want to be clean you see but they charge excessively high rates, except for Jacque of course, he does a very good job. But the other’s…well..they make me look all soft and cuddley and I have a reputation to uphold with a name like Crunch and all. I’m in charge of these here waters you see and the shrimp have to do what I say! But Jacque talks in his sleep sometimes. I hear him saying something about the uprising and the formation of a mutiny because I won’t let the other shrimp work for me. He speaks of how they want to carry me off to a place they call Narnia while I sleep one day. So I’m trying to keep an eye open at all times. This is my watering hole and I refuse to be parted from it. I’ve managed to stay awake for 5 days now…not sure how much longer I can last but I refuse to end up in this place they speak of.