I am inspired by the landscape, legend and people of my native Wales. Here, on the edge of the rugged but beautiful Blaenau Ridge, I watch how nature reclaims what man has exploited and abandoned. The old tales and customs, the folk traditions and cultural riches – these are still strong in this part of Wales. I use a variety of craft processes to make textile art, block printing, sketching, mixed media work, art dolls and map-making to reflect a journey through places which are rich in magic and scarred by history.
I don’t often (as in almost never!) start a project by deciding what the outcome is going to be and what type of craft process I’m going to use. As someone who has always struggled with the discipline of making samples or doing tests and experiments, I’ve had to find other ways of playing with ideas and images. Using a sketchbook is what works for me. I try to sketch something – it doesn’t matter what – every day. I prefer to use a sketchbook that a camera to record places that I visit. I’m not good at drawing but then I’m not a good photographer either. I like the freedom that sketching gives me and I like the fact that sketches don’t need to show good draughtsmanship. I’ve come up with a technique that works for me – splodging water colour paints over the paper and then wandering over the surface with a fine tipped felt pen which may or may not bleed into the paint.