For more than a decade I primarily focused my attention on working with mixed media and found objects, especially toys. Five years ago I tried my hand at working with rubber and particularly inner tubes, and in 2012 added embroidery to my list of preferred media. By using traditional embroidery techniques (mainly satin stitch) unto an unconventional canvas (rubber) I aim to make the familiar unfamiliar.
Since my student days I used art to escape into a fantasy world of my own making. My work is the culmination of research into emotions, psychology and fantasy. I find inspiration in myths, legends, lyrics, literature a nd especially fairy tales and is drawn to the universality of these ancient stories which exist all over the world and points to a common humanity. It is often just the title of an original fairy tale that remains in my work; I find my contemporaneous edge by subverting the original meaning and also by replacing the main characters with myself or my family members.
The work “Surrounded by wild things” is a Self-portrait, embroidered on repurposed rubber, surrounded by ‘wild flowers’ and characters from the children’s book: Where the wild things are” by Maurice Sendak. “A ring around Rosie” is once again a self-portrait as a medieval monster, surrounded by an embroidered circle of children dancing around the figure, inspired by “Ring around the Rosie” – a nursery rhyme and playground singing game.
Last but not least – “Handle with care” is a Self-portrait with the body of a crab….embroidered with cotton thread on rubber.
The ideas for the abovementioned works came about while I was reading the book: No go the Bogeyman by Marina Warner.
And I quote:
The children’s word ‘scary’ covers responses raging from pure terror to sheer delight and the condition of being scared is becoming increasingly sought after not only as a source of pleasure but as a means of strengthening the sense of being alive, of having command over self.
The toys, films and storybooks of today’s children’s culture reflects like two way mirrors our expectations of children and our image of ourselves, in potentia.
Scariness has gained ground as a pleasure. It is perhaps a modern affect, a symptom of the late 20th century, of the mixed feelings we suffer when new beginnings and new endings collide at the end of the millennium. Metamorphic humour, which seizes the objects of fear, like beasts, and turns them into something different, something reassuring and even desirable has been the most wildly and successfully adopted stratagem in the confrontation of fear.
Attitudes to scariness change over time…needless to say not everyone enjoys being scared.