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A love of Earth Pathways

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This title has double meanings for me, as I love walking the pathways through our wonderful earth, and also love the Earth Pathways Diary! Luckily, my work features in it for 2017!

It was a beautiful moment, meeting Glennie Kindred, who is amongst many wondrous things, the editor of Earth Pathways Diary. It was my daughter who announced I was an artist, and it all developed from there. Little did I expect, that I would have 3 images of my work in there for 2017. It fills me with joy to be part of this beautiful diary, alongside other artists whose work is inspired by our amazing natural world.

This piece, featured above, is an embroidered, hand felted textile art work, of alliums and other wild hedgerow plants. I am more than happy to discuss commissions.

Captivating the imagination…

Malina's Dream (photos by Mark Falmouth)      jellyfish from Oshima      polar bear from Malina's Dream

One of the most amazing aspects of my work, is the creative puppet theatre projects I am involved with.

Puppetry has fascinated me since I first set eyes on Bagpuss all those years ago! That sense of magic and wonder, when inanimate figures or objects move, and ‘come to life’ in front of your eyes, captivates me. I know I am not alone. I watch the expressions of the audience, and witness that moment when the puppet shifts from being inanimate, to appearing ‘real’.

For over 6 years now, I have made puppets, costumes, set design work and props for Angel Heart Theatre, and Rattlebox Theatre, including a polar bear (above), a queen bee, a raven, walrus, anglerfish, jellyfish (above), penguin, amongst many others.

I love seeing how the character develops as I create each puppet, and I feel a relationship forming, that directs how their personality will appear through presence and expression. I also love creating costumes which help to bring out the character of the puppet I am making it for.

Puppetry, it seems, captures something truly magical, and takes you somewhere else, which feels undefinable, maybe because it engages our imagination so much and challenges our perception of reality.

mazymeg_a4wings             nutjellynana main image

 

Creating and sharing

For me, creativity is so much about sharing.

Sometimes it is wonderful to create something without thinking about the end result, what it is for, who it is for, or even indeed what on earth is it??

However, as a social creature, I love to share.

I love sharing skills, so that others can go on and use them and be inspired, but more than anything else, I love seeing that twinkle in our eyes, when creative magic does it’s stuff. You know, that moment when you realise that you just made something that you thought you ‘couldn’t’. That moment when something ‘clicks’ or comes together.

I have heard so many stories from people I have worked with, about teachers or other not-so-well-meaning adults telling them that they were “rubbish”, “no good”, “never going to get anywhere with art”. I can put that in speech marks, because it was said to me.

This isn’t a two fingers up to Mr Whatshisname, my old Design and Technology teacher, but a call out to us all to have a go, and to support and encourage others to have a go, because sometimes there is no bigger killer of creativity than the ‘you can’t do that’.

Luckily, for me, I like to prove a point and ignored him anyway, then asked my Mum to tell him when she saw him years later, that I did an art degree and passed, and now I work in the creative field. Okay, I do secretly hope he reads this, I confess.

So, when I work with you, whether you are a child or adult, I will say what your strengths are, suggest ways of approaching things that will let your own creativity come through, share inspiring work from other artists and makers. We will laugh, share stories, come together as a group, learn loads, and create something to be proud of, whatever that may be.

I work with children from any age, up to adults of any age too! I work in schools, with home-schooled children, in woodlands/forest schools, can train teachers/teaching assistants/carers/occupational therapists in skills, work with adults and children with additional needs, make work with carers, community groups, in hospitals and so much more.

My main skills are in textiles, puppetry and character making, but I also have skills in performance, site specific work, writing, storytelling, installation, drawing, painting and paper sculpture.

Below are some examples of children’s work, made with me, using textile puppetry, shadow puppetry, and simple but effective marionette making. So much fun, so simple, cost effective and teaches a multitude of skills, especially social, emotional and verbal. I always start an end workshops with stories, as I feel that storytelling is like ‘social glue’.

I would love to hear from you. I look forward to creating with you.

x

Bud- photoshoot march 2014-152

A lover of the stitch…….

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by the sewing tin, the random buttons, the packs of needles, the way a stitch could mend, decorate, fix together.

I love that textiles can tell a story. A favourite well loved and worn teddy bear, threadbare dress that you can’t bear to part with, baby clothes, old braces, the handmade, passed down and treasured.

When I read this, quoted below, by Satish Kumar, I completely related to it…..

“We need to move towards a state where humans are active participants in the process of life and in the making of things that are beautiful, useful and durable.”

Whatever it is that I create, be it a puppet, personalised memory book or journal, a dress, bag or costume, I want it to last, and it is designed that way. When we have something special, handmade with care, you can feel the love that went into it, and it makes you want to look after it. There is a ‘life’ to that creation, and it goes on to develop its own meaning and story. As a maker, that is what I hope for, for each thing I make. If it makes you smile when you use it, my work is done.

Make, do, and mend. With love. X