Save the future of creativity in schools

Why is this not in the news more!
The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) threatens the very future of creative subjects - like Music, Art, Design & Technology, Drama and Dance. By missing them off its list of core areas children must study, the Government is undermining their place at the heart of learning. Here below I have copied the template letter from http://www.baccforthefuture.com/index.html You can copy this letter into a word processor document, print it, and then post it to your local MP. Be sure to remember to fill in the text in the red areas. I’m going to draw a letter and send it off!

{name of MP}
House of Commons

{name of MP},

Please include creative subjects in the English Baccalaureate
I am deeply concerned by the omission of creative subjects from the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) league table and ‘full EBacc’ certificate.
As it stands at the moment, the EBacc places significant pressure on schools to focus on just five ‘pillars’ of study: maths, English, sciences, languages (including Ancient Greek and Latin) and humanities (defined as just history and geography).
These are important, but the omission of creative subjects threatens a broad and balanced education (the International Baccalaureate for example includes a sixth creative pillar).
It also puts our creative economy and the creation of jobs in that sector at risk.
This is why the CBI and Creative Industries Council have expressed concern at the absence of any creative subject from the five pillars.
This is why over 40 organisations from across the creative sector are supporting the Bacc for the Future campaign which advocates a sixth pillar of creative subjects for the EBacc.
Please could you raise these concerns with the Secretary of State for Education and - if the EBacc reforms do go ahead - secure the place of creative industry relevant subjects in a sixth pillar of study such as ‘art and design, dance, drama, design technology, film studies and music.’ This is what the Government’s own Henley Review recommended.
I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,
{your name}

Beauty is the First Test.

Beauty is the First Test, is currently showing at the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park. This group exhibition curated by Liz Cooper, explores how mathematical concepts underpin craft techniques and artistic development “in an attempt to demystify a subject that intimidates both adults and children, by showing unique and stimulating works of art. ‘Beauty is the First Test’ draws together existing and new artworks to invite in-depth consideration of contemporary craft practice in this wider context. Beauty and playfulness is evident in the exhibits to illustrate what delights craftspeople and maths geeks alike.” Along side the main exhibition, I will be running a workshop to make Crochet Hexagons - Tessellation tastic!
Put geometry, tessellation and modular patterning into practice. Learn how to crochet stitches in repeat to make a six sided shape. Once you have mastered a crochet hexagon, these can be repeated and made in multiples to form a larger fabric, a mathematical blanket! Practice joining some of the shapes together on a collective piece, and take home your newly crafted polygons!
Thursday 11th October, 7pm -9pm. £30.
Please contact the
Pump House Gallery to book your place.


“An exhibition of contemporary art to capture the energy, excitement and sentiment of the Olympic Games coming to London. 11 artists have created a unique art collection for the London Borough of Haringey, using a variety of media. Each artist has created a piece of their own work and another in collaboration with local school children.”
As a direct, literal interpretation, I created 4 of the 5 rings to reflect the Olympic values. Through the process of knitting, once initial stitches are established, it is not complicated to produce, but like a marathon: determination and perseverance are needed to keep going to reach the end, improving on a personal best. I have stripped the same 5 colours together within each ring to show integration, different patterns to show diversity, and yet also equality as all the rings are the same. At Earlham Primary School in Wood Green, I worked with two classes of thirty pupils to create the situation of a Knitting Circle, a gathering of knitters, and with these groups, to foster the growth of friendships and a greater collective skill set. Like a relay race, my passing on my knitting skills to these classes of children, they are taking on the Olympic values as they develop their own hand crafts, each making a stitch, a line, or even a whole square of knitting, at their own personal best to contribute to make as a collaborative effort, the last of the 5 knitted rings.

The exhibition will run from the 25th July to 23rd September 2012 at Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham. 
OOOOOH Art is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Photo by Roelof Bakker.

Forest Fest 2012

Saturday 7th July is Forest Fest at Forest Hill School. I will be digging out my crochet hooks to run drop-in workshops to make some olympic themed bling, I expect to see some winning medals! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been in search for some suitable materials, I got this lot of Twilley’s Goldfingering gold and silver yarn in a winning bid from ebay, and this red and white ribbon from a fantastic old-school craft shop in Tooting! Also during the festival will be Art exhibitions by the pupils and decorations strung up, both which I”ve had a hand in displaying! IMG_1959IMG_1963Ffest 2012 A5 Flyer - frontFFest 2012 A5 Flyer - back

A Family Affair

I am taking part in a Print Exhibition All in the name of Macmillian at design agency Fallon. The theme was families and bicycles, as three lovely gentlemen will be cycling from one end of the country to the other in support of Macmillian Cancer Care, they also wanted to celebrate and raise money by putting on an exhibition. You can find out more about what they are up to on their site A Family Affair. Please support them and/or buy a print!!

Made At Morley

I have been practicing Experimental Machine Knitting at Morley College for a while, and now it’s our turn (with the other textile courses’ students) to show off our work in the Morley Gallery. I’m looking forward to the private view to see everyone’s work up! We have a very creative, talented group, and it will also be interesting to see what’s happening in the other textile courses too, I wish I had the time and money to do all of the courses! Made At Morley opens on 15th till 29th March 2012.

Fashion In Motion

Yesterday, I was at the V&A with my fellow machine knitters, looking at the iron works for some inspiration for a new up coming project. This must be one of the few times I’ve gone there not to look at fashion or textiles directly, but I can totally see why the iron works were suggested, gates with intricate lattices looked just like knitted lace.
Anyway after photos and sketches done, followed by obligatory tea and scones in the amazing cafe, I stayed in the shop a little longer after the others left, inspired by beautifully designed accessories and spotting a couple of floral wood blocks for printing (I will buy these another time). Finally I went to leave, calling it a day, which was full of inspiration, shapes, pattern and design, when I was handed a free ticket to a fashion show/performance that was just about to begin....
Sat near the back, I still had a great spot to capture the models as they appeared out on the catwalk. “Models at Work” was a performance piece by Paris based museum director, curator and performer Olivier Saillard, featuring five famous french models: Axelle Doue, Claudia Huidobro, Anne Rohart, Violeta sanchez and Amalia Vairelli. The performance was in five parts and rather than showing off clothing, it was more about the models gestures and the idea of dressing and design and the elements involved in clothing shown on the catwalk: Black sheaths, An exercise in style around the white tunic. Catwalk without clothes. Modelled in calico. Shadow garments. IMG_0591IMG_0609IMG_0587
It was really exciting to be sat in the Raphael Gallery along side some very fashion looking people, journalist and dear I say, hipsters. I love this sort of thing and I want to be more a part of it!

Ghosts Of Gone Birds

Most of the time Facebook is a time waster, but sometimes it shows its worth, I discovered this exhibition posted up through two different unrelated friends that I hadn’t seen in ages, Ed Kluz and Anita Bruce who were both exhibiting in it. I could have easily missed Ghosts Of Gone Birds, but managed to see the show the day before it ended in Shoreditch, when I was on my way to the Hoxton Knitting group. The show was overwhelming, I wish I had more time to see everything, a whole room of Ralph Steadman drawings, and recently I had discovered the work of Felt Mistress through twitter, who has worked in collaboration with Jon Burgerman to make illustrations into stuffed felt creatures! By chance I managed to catch up with Anita, invigilating the show, whilst knitting her hummingbirds in wire. Her knitting patterns and sketchbooks as complex and amazing as her finished pieces.
Felt Mistress

Ed Kluz

Anita Bruce

Snowy Pom Pom Tree

I have been asked to design and make, in collaboration with my community groups, decorations to hang on the big tree, to go on display in Tottenham this week! I have been working against the clock to get the decorations made on time. Here they are so far...

Chunghie Lee

Whilst still installing at the Knitting & Stitching Show, the exhibit that really caught my inspiration was The Patched Pojagi by Korean Fibre Artist, Chunghie Lee. Chunghie uses Korean wrapping silks called Pojagi which she sews together in intricate and delicate patchworks of colour, as wall hangings and kimono like garments. Some of her pieces had repeated screen printed figures shown on them, which reminded me of some work I had explored during my Textile Art degree, although Chunghie’s held more substance and a professional finish, still it was really interesting to see how some lines/threads of visual/craft exploration ring through in both our work, although I had not heard of her before. As other exhibits also needed installing before the opening of the show, we were running around juggling to finish, all hands on deck, but I’m really pleased I got left to help tweak and finalise the hanging of Chunghie’s work. Again I’m sorry that I haven’t yet got a new decent camera and that my photographs here, do not do justice to her textiles. Have a look at her website for a better overview and images.

Knitting & Stitching Show 2011

I was back at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally again this year, helping Liz Cooper to install some of the art exhibits in the show. Our main task was to install the major Beryl Dean retrospective, of intricately stitched Gold work on Bishop’s gowns, some huge colour embroideries on big panels, and numerous framed drawings of her design work, all of which was incredible.

Some other pieces that caught my eye, once the show had opened were these knitted pieces by
Yoshimi Kihara. I didn’t get to meet her till the end of the show, when I asked her if I could take this photo, and it turned out that we both went to the same school in Kyoto: Kawashima School of Textiles about 10 years ago! How fantastic that I’m still making connections from a very brief, but most influential time of my art / textile schooling.

There was some interesting, knitting/performance art, but it seemed a bit lost and out of place to the crowded mass of shoppers in the main hall!
And lastly to note, the fun knitted bunting in the Palm Court, made by readers of Woman’s Weekly magazine!


Wool Modern

On Friday I went to the Wool Modern exhibition at La Galleria, in Pall Mall. I was planning on getting to see this anyway, but I ended up going as part of a group with my machine knitting course, which made it so much more enjoyable to share our excitement over knit structures, and to get our tutor Jo, to give us an insight to how some of the more technical pieces had been made. Here are some images of my favourite pieces in the show. The first being a punchcard fairisle machine knit outfit: Knit Monster by Sibling.

On your marks...get set...GO!

Oooooh Art Collection

Jonanna Vasconcelos

I Will Survive. Jonanna Vasconcelos. Haunch of Venison.
“The use of crochet alludes to an activity usually associated with women and traditional crafts but in these ingenious manipulations it is such perceptions rather than the activity itself which are rendered obsolete”. - Bomi Odufunade (Haunch of Venison).
Here you see crochet being used to cover the surface of hard objects of concrete statues, a grand piano and ceramic animal figurines. The materials are out of context from what you would normally expect. Re-questioning how you see traditional crafts skills such as crochet (often associated with the idea of old grannies or bad 70’s fashion trends). The crochet here is not fluffy and woolly but crisp, intricate and graphic looking. On the concrete figures it looks like tattooing, again to make you question the traditional idea of who would use crochet. The motifs of the lacework echo the surrounding cornice plastering on the walls and ceiling. I am interested in the relationship of the constructed soft materials to the harder objects they envelope and the placement within the building’s architecture. Looking at the construction within ‘soft’ textile fabrics and finding details within the surrounding building / architecture or hard objects such as furniture, where these construction methods or decorative features have been used on another scale and in other materials.

The Edges Of The World

The Edges Of The World. Ernesto Neto. Hayward Gallery.
Describing his immersive, experiential sculptures as ‘body/space/landscapes, Neto explains that they begin in one form and then take on many others, and ‘in between is a kind of dance’.
His installations use bright and translucent coloured fabric. His interests in physics show through in his pieces, exploring ideas of tension and weight, biomorphic forms and participatory environments. Again the use of the building’s architecture becomes a part of the work, merging the soft and hard materials. The very nature of this exhibition involves you to take part within the piece, to be surrounded by it and touch it and be playful in its dreamscape enclosure.

We Are Your Friends.

“Everybody, everybody in the (Art) House of Love”. I’ve got this song stuck in my head by East 17. Its probably because I’ve recently been asked to take part in a group exhibition “We Are Your Friends” at the E17 Art House as part of the Walthamstow Art Trail over the first weeks of September. I will be showing a selection of screen prints of friendly characters along side other interesting print makers...arttrail_posteremailIMGP5747IMGP5744

A Sewing Machine & A Typewriter

I’ve orchestrated a fight between a sewing machine and a typewriter...IMGP5612IMGP5600IMGP5639IMGP5641IMGP5629IMGP5623IMGP5644IMGP5611
My response to working within the space of Solveigh’s installation of Mirabilia Domestica, using the instruments in the workstation.

Mirabilia Domestica

Looking forward to the summer ahead, I will be assisting textile artist and researcher Solveigh Goett on the final stint of her PhD, to install her exhibition of Mirabilia Domestica. I’m excited to be apart of this project, to get more hands on and get my teeth into textiles with a narrative, and inspiration for my own textile art exploration.
invite final 1 copyIMGP5532
Since the beginnings of humanity textiles have accompanied us on our journey through life: not only our bodies and environments, but also our memories, feelings and thoughts are clothed. From socks and lucky underpants, sheets and blankets, curtains and jumpers, to uniforms and flags, beer tents and parachutes, telephone wires and fibre-optic cables, we live in a world heavily layered with textiles, a truly world wide web: without textiles human life is unimaginable.
Intrigued by the extraordinary power the most ordinary fabrics hold to evoke memories and capture emotions, textile artist and researcher Solveigh Goett has collected materials and stories, made assemblages, memory boxes, books and many other hybrid, quirky and whimsical things to create a cabinet of textile wonders that aims to entice the narrative imagination, to move, surprise and enchant its visitors.
Mirabilia Domestica celebrates the small things in life, so often overlooked by force of habit, yet so deeply embedded in the stories of our life. Like the cabinets of curiosities of early modernity, the predecessors to museums and galleries, Mirabilia Domestica is a densely packed space that doesn’t reveal all its treasures at a glance. There are boxes and drawers to be opened and their content to be explored by the curious eyes, minds and hands of the visitors, who rather than being kept at a distance are invited not only to look, but also to touch, smell and listen.
Breaking the touch taboo that dominates art exhibitions and museum displays,
Mirabilia Domestica not only permits visitors to give in to their desire to feel what they see, but positively encourages them to engage through their senses with the textures of the work, to touch and to be touched. Such sensory exploration beyond the visual will enrich the visitors’ experience in unexpected ways, and also provide points of attachment for those who through loss of sight are often excluded from enjoying the visual arts.
Mirabilia Domestica: the textile self re/collected is part of a practice-based research project that links threads of experience and lines of thoughts to investigate the role of everyday textiles in the stories of our lives.
project website serves as an on-line catalogue of the installation as well as leading the visitor into a wider network of textile matters, memories and metaphors.

For more information, please contact the artist

Mirabilia Domestica: the textile self re/collected
7 August - 29 August 2010
Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture
Middlesex University, Cat Hill, Barnet, Herts, EN4 8HT
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Sunday, 2pm - 5pm. Closed on Monday.

Moth In The Motor


How much is that kitty in the window?

I have recently entered the world of Olive Loves Alfie, a lovely boutique on Church Street, in Stoke Newington. It has everything I could wish for, bright vibrant colours, patterns, stunning design and japanese influences and a sense of magic in the clothing, accessories, toys, prints and products. Only thing is, its meant to be for little children, and I keep forgetting that at age 30, I am now supposed to be a grown up, and can’t fit into those cute tiny t-shirts! To my fortune, owner ( and former Red Or Dead shoe designer), Ashlyn Gibson spotted me wearing one of my felt cats in her boutique and thought they would be perfect to sell in her shop! My felt printed cats now hang in the window, waiting for small (and big) children to take them home...

UK:DIY exhibition


Two of my images of my yarn bombs have been chosen to be included in the UK:DIY exhibition, currently being held at The Turnpike Gallery in Leigh. Its a bit out of my way to get to at the moment - but if you’re any way up by Manchester, please do check it out! And if you can’t get up there, you can view the images on flickr...

Move Me

Basically what you need to know here is that i won a competition to have my artwork made as a poster to be displayed on the London Underground!! From 25th Feb - 10th March, go to the end of the south bound platform on the Victoria line at Highbury & Islington Station, and you will see my work! The drawing above was previewed at Rainbird Fine Art, as part of the exhibition organized by Islington Council. However Transport For London rejected this piece at being “a negative view of of their transport system” so they asked me for other work, i sent 3 images for them to choose from and all were put up - yeay for me!

Oxford Open

Between the 12th Jan - 17th Feb 2008, Modern Art Oxford is opening its institutional doors free to the creative peoples of Oxford. After queing for 2 hours to submit my work, I can now join Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin and Yoko Ono amongst others,  to have exhibited in this fantastic space. See Below...

Shift. 2004. Pen, pencil & mascara on paper.
These drawings were executed whilst i was a gallery assistant at Modern Art Oxford. A shift from the duty of work, and the study of gallery visitors, reveals my underlying emotion at that time.

Degree Show.

This entry is just a test. more details to follow later...