At the end of three years at Bath Spa this is how I felt. A self-imposed gruelling work schedule, which stretched my thinking in so many directions. Self-motivated, and pretty much self-directed during the last six months of the course; I was travelling in an unconventional direction, and I wasn’t looking for co-curation. An independent body of work eventually emerged during autumn 2017, at the end of which I realised blank opinions were being made on the work, based on very little dialogue or communication, I’d just been getting on with work in the studio, often seven days a week. Ultimately the distinction felt grudging and hard won. To be told afterwards I needed to be resilient in the future was a dispiriting insult, revealing so clearly a lack of communication or interest.
Interesting that the photo shows both my textile experiments with eco-printing on silk and pushing the boundaries of thinness using porcelain.
This journey was mine, I wasn’t making for the approval of a tutor, or anyone else. That is my strength for the future, where my resilience lies.
The journey undertaken to complete a Masters degree is different for everyone, some sail through – an extension of their undergraduate studies. For those of us who have had a long gap in studying – over thirty years in my case – it’s an immersive experience, and I will never be the same again. No regrets, it was the right thing for me to do at the time. I was so fortunate to start off in Textile Design, getting a thorough grounding in presentation and marketing in the second module, before moving sideways into the Ceramics dept where the emphasis was more artistic than product based. Being able to dip a toe in different departments worked for me, encouraging an interdisciplinary practice which I eventually realised underpinned what I was about – a ‘bricoleur’ and bowerbird – taking and appropriating bits and stuff, techniques, materials, re-imagining and repurposing to create the unique, the one-off, the different.