Hello 2020!

So a new decade is here and I’m entering as a forty year old artist with a new outlook on life (and a new pair of glasses for close up embroidery work). The last ten years have been full of amazing community projects, collaborations and solo exhibitions. I’ve worked alongside some talented artists, performers and helped some inspiring people to find their creative voice.

In 2019, I had some coaching from the very talented Eleanor Snare, that gave me a new, confident mindset. I’m now all celebrating my achievements. Here are a few of my proudest moments from the last decade in no particular order:

  • Taking the decision to go freelance (I’m now in my 8th year)
  • Getting my masters in textiles from Manchester School of Art
  • Buying a new house with space for a great little studio in the back bedroom
  • Setting up MCR Sew Social with Louisa Hammond
  • Three solo exhibitions exploring mental health and my childhood
  • My first articles in Be Creative with Workbox magazine
  • Working on Outing the Past and It’s for You celebrating the LGBTQ+ community
  • Working with A Quiet Word on the Seacroft Tapestry Project and 365 Leeds Stories
  • Working with Getaway Girls on Stitching for Wellbeing

As I look forward to the new year, I have lots of exciting new projects to focus on. Flock North is a collaborative project with visual artist Louise Atkinson which looks at textile production and migration in the north. The project research has already taken us to some exciting exhibitions and you can read more about them on our blog.

For the last few months of 2019 I was feeling pretty uninspired, I’ve never hidden my mental health struggles and how they can affect my work but I was struggling to motivate myself. I’ve now set myself some designated studio days each week where I focus on my own practice without the distraction of emails and workshop planning.

So many artist friends have had a similar feeling about how to balance their teaching life and studio time. It’s time to reclaim our time in the studio to make our own work. I’ll be sharing my work in progress on social media and through regular notes from the studio blog posts.

I wonder what the next ten years of my creative journey has in store for me. I can’t wait to find out!