Ninety- nine different sized angels packed tight are noisy, cramped, whispering creatures all clapping their wings together building to an all encompassing crazy, noisy, intense dream that threatens your current world. Inspired by an experience where I felt that I was in the eye of the storm, the world filled with madness around me as I held my nerve in the midst of it all. I called this Hurricane Angel One.
The second angel hurricane is the physical representation of the experience of looking back after the first hurricane had passed. The madness dissipated, it is lighter, has more space, is a gentle murmuring build of delicate whispers. It is only once the hurricane has passed that you will know where you are in your new world and how much of the old one needed to be blown away. You may find you carry the ghost of the hurricane with you, reminding you of how your life can be made a-new. This is Hurricane Angel Two.
As with all life forms the Hurricane Angels will with age tarnish to a darker grey and eventually almost black. It is when this process is complete that the crystals really start to sparkle.
“Why Do I Need Legs When I Have Wings To Fly?”
As a kid I would be in a chair at the front of my family home – my legs and hips in plaster casts, my friends playing in the street close by while I was happily drawing. A smile on my face, my friends running back from their games to check on my latest picture.
As an adult an idea began to form inside me - a pearl made by the grit of my disability, that maybe, just maybe I chose to be this way. Perhaps in my last life I moved too fast. I believe it is possible I may once have passed by the beauty in the small things. The reflection of the clouds in the puddles on the road, the cracks in the pavement where the oil pools and sparkles. It could be that I didn’t have time to run my hands across the bricks of the wall on the street and imagine the life of the person who had built it. Could it be that I had agreed in this latest life to have to tread my path more slowly? To have the opportunity to see more of the beauty around me?
At twenty-seven, after many hip and leg operations and on graduating from St. Martins School Of Art, I had my first total hip replacement and bone graft. The x-ray was shocking. My own hip devastated, the new one stangely sculptural. I had become part sculpture and was grateful for the co-operative skills involved in keeping me on my feet. I thought of the person who made the metal implant, the surgeon who planted it, the medical researchers who together came up with this strange and helpful fix, the nurses training, care and humour, the anesthesiologist who kept me on pause while I was re-built. They all keep me on my feet. Prior to the operation I would watch others walk or run and imagine being able to move without pain; I decided that would be like having wings. I began to make winged creatures – my kind of angels, a sort of hope that one day I would fly – in my own way.
Recovering from the operation I made more angels and more still. It was the thing I could do – sit and sculpt with wire, crystals and a pair of pliers. I would be mindful to think positively as I made them. Wanting them to be filled with good energy and hope. I sculpted those tiny angels into bigger sculptures made up of multiple angels. To my surprise people wanted to buy them, it seemed people really loved them and they sold in London, Tokyo and Europe.
My favourite angel story is that when my first small angel mobile sculptures were displayed in The Ritz Hotel in London, Yo Yo Ma saw them, bought every one of them and asked for more. He wanted to hang them in his music room to inspire him while he composed. Sometimes I listen to Yo Yo Ma while I make my angels, that symmetry makes me smile.
I have wanted for a long time to make bigger art works and this door opened for me when I moved to Hoi An last year. I made a crown of angels for a writer to wear while she wrote. She wore the crown to a gallery, which is how Bridget March first came to see my work and encouraged me to do more.
My angels are part me and part all the people I have ever met. I found a metal worker with a magical heart who I commissioned to make the Fibonacci spirals on which my angels are suspended and a team of creatives help me thread the sculptures together. There are parts of many people in my work. Their hopes and wishes, dreams and heartaches – because I believe that when you work on a sculpture part of you goes with it. I encourage you to take a seat under the angels, take your time, I hope you too see beauty in the small things. The way that I have been lucky enough to spend my life doing.
Foundation In Art & Design – Richmond College, London.
BA Hons. Fashion Design – Saint Martins School Of Art, London.
I have exhibited at London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week bi-annually 2003-2006. Exhibiting sculptural millinery and jewellery.
I currently live with my husband and two young daughters in Hoi An, Vietnam where I sculpt angels and am writing my first novel.