Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
I make paintings on silk, large-scale installations, 3D works (often forms made of fabric), watercolor drawings on khadi paper, and animations.
I’m from the UK and lived and worked in London for most of my life. I grew up in a family that wasn’t at all artistic, but I always really liked drawing and making things. When I left school, it was possible to get a government grant to study, and I chose an undergraduate degree in Fine Art in Birmingham and then did a master’s at the Royal College of Art.
After my MA I was awarded a Rome Scholarship at the British School in Rome for six months and did a fellowship in America for 6 months. I balanced my career as an artist with undergraduate teaching at Central Saint Martins, and Masters and doctorate teaching at the Royal College of Art for many years and had a family.
A turning point in my life was becoming a widow when my sons were 6 and 7. My work changed totally and became a way to explore what I was thinking and experiencing. Over time I developed the way I work now and it became a very central focus in my life.
Three years ago, I won the Max Mara Art Prize and did a residency in Italy. I decided to establish a studio in Italy, where I also made work for the Venice Biennale. I now continue to work between London and Italy.
What does your work aim to say?
In my work, I try to capture the human experience of being alive in our period. Personal and subjective experiences (love, grief, anxieties, hopes) are cast into wider contemporary issues – concerns that affect all of us, such as our relationships with technology, nature, ecology, and the power structures that are at work.
I often depict a faceless woman who explores and tries to understand the world.
It’s an idea of me, trying to figure things out. The work uses images, text, objecthood, and sound, to try to mirror the layered way of think and experience – through sensory experience as well as visual and verbal.
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