Saturday, 14 September 2013


When I was a uni student, I wrote a paper in my printmaking class about biophilia and representing nature in art. That was in 2000. Eleven years later Bjork released an album called Biophilia.  Biophilia is a concept/ hypothesis put forward suggesting that deep within human DNA is the natural instinct to connect with nature and living systems, as put forward by Edward O. Wilson in his book Biophilia. My paper examined ideas of how artists can represent nature in artwork, when nature is inherently unpredictable and random. Can an artist ever truly represent this or only capture a moment in time?

Sometimes it feels like the experiences that nature provides us with, are living artworks.

Like this...

Aurora borealis over farmlands about two hours out of Reykjavik

Ice cave

Blue glacial ice

Snow on stony ground

Marchesa Luisa Casati famously stated that she wanted her life to be a living work of art. Perhaps in this she was the closest to finding a means of representing nature through artistic expression. 
After all, what are our lives but a series of random, unpredictable events? I guess how we choose to represent them is our true art.
If I live my life based on the premise that my life is my art, always a work in progress, always shifting and changing then it's quite exciting to wonder about how the colours and the textures and the lines and the tones will overlap and intertwine over the years...don't you think?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Art happens...


There is a crisp, silver surface that seems to cover Iceland. It seems strange that just below this surface boils a fiery heat. This same heat also seems to burn within those who inhabit this extreme, mystical place. Calm, controlled exteriors, and fiercely passionate interiors.


There seems to be a stream of unique self expression, creativity that flows through the veins of Icelanders. A short walk through Reykjavik gives some insight into this commitment to creativity and originality that is uniquely Iceland.


The built environment is used as a blank canvas for artistic expression and seems to encapsulate this neat, organised and yet highly intuitive place. The exterior walls seem to hint at the hidden depths within. I thought I'd share some of my favourites...



Thursday, 28 March 2013

Who taught you?

When I was about four, I remember being excited about an upcoming visit to my grandparent's house. No matter where they lived, we would always visit them. My grandmother was the most stylish and chic woman I have ever known. She was a little shorter than me and she had a fire in her that shone like a blinding light.

 This particular visit was personally important, because my grandmother had promised to teach me how to knit.  I had my wool and needles ready - a pair of golden, anodized needles I think. We sat huddled on the velour lounge, her on one side and my mother on the other. She showed me how to cast on and how to click away with needles, winding the wool as I went.

Magically, something that resembled a fabric appeared. Stitch after stitch, row after row. Persevering through countless dropped-stitch rescues, untangling of tangles and navigating the tricky terrain of wool changes, I ended up with something that very much resembled a scarf (similar to that worn by Dr Who as portrayed by Tom Baker circa 1974.)

My mother has always knitted, sewn, decorated cakes and generally created amazing things and I wanted to be just like her. My mother, along with my grandmother handed me down many things over the years...but this love of making, this desire to be industrious, to create, to build, to invent, to reinvent surely must be one of their greatest gifts.

My mother taught me many skills and techniques for making things, but today my memories of my grandmother linger with me. Over the years she taught me sewing with a machine. She taught me embroidery. She taught me to learn from the mistakes.

So, after thinking about these small but significant beginnings to my life of making, I can't help but ask the question...who taught you?