A solo exhibition at Alsager Arts Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager
Fragile examines the relationship between surgical craft and women’s craft. The history of medicine has been a male dominated domain, particularly within the surgical field, whereas needlecraft has nearly always been associated with women and the domestic. Both practitioners employ a needle and thread, relying on the repetition of a single stitch in order to complete their task. However the gentle art of stitching lace and cotton bears little resemblance to the stitching of flesh and tissue.
Silence is a series of four hand-knitted and crocheted surgical masks. As the title suggests, the work speaks about silence. The masks are a symbol for breathing in, breathing out; consciousness, loss of consciousness; power of communication, denial of speech; and ultimately life and death. Surgical Dressing for Discerning Women is also meticulously hand knitted and crocheted, the juxtaposition between the means of production and the function of the object is unnerving.
Notions of the landscape as healer have always been of interest to me, as well as the healing properties associated with natural materials such as chalk, charcoal and salt, be it traditional, alternative or mythical. Cure referenced medical folklore and the use of charcoal as a remedy for numerous ailments. An exert from Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit was the inspiration for Protect.