I studied weaving at Central Saint Martins, graduated in 2000 and set up a studio in Hackney where I’ve been weaving ever since. I have exhibited in numerous galleries and craft fairs, most recently Contemporary Applied Arts, Craft Central in Clerkenwell, 44AD ArtSpace, Bath, Forty Hall, The House Mill Gallery, Bow, One Church Street Gallery, Selvedge Winter Fair and The Contemporary Textile Fair. I also run weaving classes from my studio and have taught weaving in primary schools.
I have engaged in several projects that have involved an element of a journey as their theme, in 2015 I exhibited at Forty Hall, a 17th century house in Enfield, a series of commissioned pieces made after several months of walks round the estate, taking photographs, drawing and writing a blog, the result of this is work which invokes the ancient trees found in the parkland surrounding Forty Hall, trees that have born mute witness to the history of the people who have made Forty Hall their home, the passage of time physically marked in the yearly increasing rings on their trunks.
In 2014 I exhibited a series of weaving at Three Mills in Bow made after walking the entire length of the River Lea from where it starts just outside Luton to where it flows into the Thames at Limehouse. This river walk was a discovery of forgotten corners and an attempt to find mystery in the terrain of the familiar and and exploration of the idea that a piece of cloth like a journey and a story has a beginning, middle and end.
After receiving a bursary from The Jameson Works in 2015, I made a series of weavings telling the story of my great great grandfather Frederick Desnaux, who in the 1860’s traded commodities between England and West Africa. It is a story of love, loss and the threads that connect through time. His last journey proved to be fatal as he caught dysentery and died in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1868. A record is left of this journey in the form of seven letters, six he wrote to his beloved wife Helen, the seventh written by a colleague informing his family of his death. It is a story of a voyage traced from Liverpool to Sierra Leone, via Maderia, Teneriffe, Acra, Fernando Po, the Benin River, the Bight of Bonny, the Fernan Vas river. The weaving of cloth echoes the idea of a journey as the thread travels back and forth through the warp building up to a bigger picture.
I am currently exploring the foreshore of the Thames at Tilbury and developing some work based on these walks.
As well as making pieces for exhibition I also weave anything from scarves and throws to blinds and bedspreads and am available for commission.