After growing up amongst nature in rural Cheshire, UK, studying in Spain and then later relocating to Aachen Germany, I often feel separated from ‘place’. In order to ease the feeling of a fragmented self I create works deeply inspired by my natural surroundings to achieve a sense of belonging. This has been strongly influenced by my upbringing within agriculture and rural communities which is an essential part of my heritage. My passion for landscape and nature is represented through site specific installation.
Throughout my practice I often question the definitions of beauty within nature. Bordering on the grotesque and the uncanny my artwork challenges society’s perception of organisms such as fungi and mushrooms. Such an important contributor for the success of the eco system, this life form is commonly regarded with negativity and feelings of unease by the viewer. My artwork aims to subvert this view and highlight their beauty and value for the survival of the planet.
Hessian coffee sacks are the main component within my installations. These are sourced from Fair-trade companies in Germany who work collaboratively with small farm collectives particularly from the Chiapas region of Mexico and Columbia. The chosen material presents a narrative to the audience about the coffee trade and the importance of supporting small fair-trade farms, something that resonates with me on a personal level due to my rural background. It also encourages the viewer to consider the origin of their coffee and the injustices that result from the high demand of coffee within capitalist consumer culture, particularly from the West.
The use of biodegradable and environmental material encourages artists and the audience to be aware of their environmental footprint in order to reflect on contemporary concerns regarding the current climate crisis. For this generation of artists, it is important to consider the environmental impact of their materials, and to create art that does not contribute to waste pollution or deforestation. Therefore, my artwork is created from biodegradable, reusable and recyclable materials. It is with the creation of temporary work that I explore the concept that art should last forever or that time increases value. An important idea to explore when in contemporary society, consumerist behaviour often leads to objects which are used for minutes but last a lifetime; single use plastics.
It is through the development of my practice and thought that I consider whether ethical, fair-trade and sustainable consumerism can really be achieved within a Patriarchal capitalist system and whether, it, in fact, contributes to the problem.