I was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in a neighborhood of red brick houses set against the backdrop of Black Mountain. For a brief time before the Troubles began, I remember exploring the field behind our house with my older sisters, and searching the hedgerows with my dad, looking for the elusive Corncrake. This bird, with its distinctive grating call, symbolized summer, and the promise of adventures just beyond my reach. Then everything changed; the Army arrived and built a fortress in the field, there were gun battles and explosions that blew out our windows, and the outside world wasn’t fun any more.
Luckily for me, I was a maker and schemer, and I had a mother who sewed. I developed a passion for digging through her bags of fabric scraps and plotted projects in my head as the bombs went off each night in the city.
I found it reassuring to create small worlds with whatever was at hand, and became adept at the art of making do!
All these years later I am still a fabric hoarder. I moved to Massachusetts after college, and worked for many years in the apparel industry, obsessing over textiles and color ways and building collections. I came to realize that my childhood tendency to live in my head was called imagination, and nitpicking the little things was not weird, just detail oriented!
Now I work from my home in a small rural town north of Boston. I raised my 2 daughters here, and they have enjoyed a childhood in a wild backyard with deer, foxes, rabbits and coyote passing through. And I have relished the wonder of it all.
There were no animals in my life when I was young, and now it is as if I were meeting them for the first time. In these pictures that I make, I take advantage of the wonderful qualities of wool, to convey the weight and warmth of the belly, the imperceptible twitch of the ear and the tensed muscle under the fur. I want to show a sensory appreciation of otherness in a moment of stillness, a passing encounter amidst a conjured cloth landscape, and a hint of a narrative that comforts the soul.