CAMEO IS AN ONGOING SERIES FEATURING CANADIAN JEWELLERY ARTISTS. HERE, THEY SHARE THEIR LATEST THOUGHTS AND INSIGHTS, AND GIVE US A PEEK INTO THEIR PRACTICE.
Describe your current work/practice in one sentence.
I hand sew wearable objects from domestic and industrial textiles, exploring ideas around gender and labour.
What are three things/ideas that inspire you?
Contemporary and historical British culture – I lived in England until I was 27, so this is embedded in me. I’ve only been back 3 times in 20 years, and I think this has heightened a sense of nostalgia for something that maybe never existed. At the same time it’s a relief to be able to separate myself from some of the nightmarish aspects of the British class system. I am so glad my children were born in Canada.
Historical textiles, particularly the ingenious ways people mended garments and made use of scraps.
My students – Teaching is like being held captive in a studio surrounded by all the materials and tools to make things, but your hands are tied - it makes me yearn to make. On the flip side, as a teacher I can release an idea into the wild and let it blossom in multiple ways.
What other things do you do besides your jewellery practice?
I have a busy home life with my husband, our two teens and dog. We’ve lived in Vancouver since I graduated from ACAD in 2002, and I haven’t escaped some of those inevitable West Coast lifestyle choices - yes, I do yoga, own a paddle board and a pair of cross country skis. Yoga is the only one I have gained the slightest proficiency in. Everyone in my family does Capoeira except me, I’m standing my ground for now, but I do know some of the songs!
This is the most difficult question of all. I hope I haven’t made it yet, because nothing springs to mind…maybe that’s because for me the process is more important than the finished piece - when I’m finished, the work goes off to the gallery and I detach myself from it - otherwise how would I sell anything? Thank U, Next!
What is a favourite piece that you’ve made and why?
I think more First Nations jewellery artists should be represented in Canadian art jewellery exhibitions and galleries. I just saw multidisciplinary artist Dana Claxton’s exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery - such powerful and important work - I would love to see more like this in our field.
What word pops into your mind when you think of Canadian art jewellery?
More travel than ever this year. Rebecca Hannon has invited me to give a lecture and workshop at NSCAD at the beginning of March so I’m busy preparing for that. My family is taking a long overdue trip to London during Spring Break and we will be going to Paris and Egypt while we’re there. I’m also really looking forward to the SNAG conference in Chicago: it will be my fourth year working with my dear friend Matt Lambert as co-chair of the Exhibition in Motion, and this show is going to be our biggest yet! Please come if you can, and say hello, I’d love to meet you.
What is coming up next for you?