To date my art practice has been primarily concerned with constructions of national identities and subjectivity within visual representation, working with installation, print and photography.
I am currently exploring the possibilities of photography and print in relation to ceramics in two and three dimensional forms. For me, this work represents a return to more basic visual concerns in handling materials and processes. It also privileges the integration of technology and craft as a way of articulating concepts concerned with the layering and fragmentation of memory.
I prefer to make art that refers to something other than it-self. In making this body of work, I am mindful of the historical and social functions of photographs and of the conditions of labour
in the 19th Century. I am also attempting to memorialise the many emigrant Irish women who left Ireland to work in the mills of the North of England. Some were escaping the notorious ‘Magdalen Asylums’, where women and young girls were incarcerated and laboured within the Laundries, often for decades, with no real legitimacy.
To this end, I work with documentary archive photographs of mill workers and with contemporary images of industrial interiors from Blakeridge Mill in Batley, alongside romanticised 19th Century portraits of women and girls. These photographs would have been constructed at around the same time as the mill was first in production in the mid 1840’s and during the years of the Irish Famine.
My work is concerned with narratives of absence; of knowledge/location/histories. It is also concerned with the contested space of liminality and with the fragility of images that, like wraiths, inhabit the imaginary.