Winner of Zozimus Gallery Visual Impact Award, November 2015
Stories have always been of great interest to me because of their potential to engage us in myriad ways – to uplift, edify or sway. The narrator’s role is to choose the most appropriate medium and I am particularly drawn to ceramics because narratives literally comes alive with handling, with the form being as eloquent as the surface decoration – imagery, text – in carrying a story. Like most people I am a bit of a hybrid. Of Irish and Dutch parents, I grew up in South Africa and England, and so have always been interested in the relationship between identity and place, in particular, the role culture plays in molding who we become. Growing up in these two hemispheres, yet receiving a British education in both (1970’s-1980’s), had the peculiar effect of planting a different landscape in my head – of green hills and daffodils – to the one which I physically inhabited – of red earth and droughts. Yet this experience has provided a rich reservoir of images and memories to draw on, and ceramics, which is rooted in cultural practice and identity, has allowed me to explore this dual consciousness. As a ceramicist, fine artist and writer, my work concerns myth-making: by drawing on the past yet bearing witness to the present, I tell stories both to pose and answer specific questions. My background in literature (Masters in English) drawing and painting (BFA), continues to inform my ceramic output.