“Animals and issues relating to animal welfare and conservation have been a focus throughout my life. This started in childhood with the companionship of dogs. For my Final Project I’ve worked in association with Dogs Trust Salisbury to promote awareness and fundraise. I’ve wanted to open up a dialogue about these animals and their plight by creating tactile portraits of some of the dogs that have been waiting the longest to be re-homed.
I’ve used recycled domestic textiles, hand-sewing and felting yarn to create unique portraits of each dog. Visits to the centre to observe, talk to the manager and handlers, combined with my own understanding and affection for dogs, has enabled me to capture their characters. This time-consuming process reflects my empathy with the dogs as individuals, as I ‘talk’ and connect to them through stitch, hoping to draw attention to their respective stories as a way to help them find new homes.
Through my illustration practice, I see myself as a ‘Maker of Things’; I recognise and explore the importance of the imperfect handmade as a human response to an increasingly technology-driven world.
I combine a philosophy of ‘reclaim and reuse’ viewed through the prism of traditional domestic craft skills and a passionate belief that everyday creative practices can serve to channel our concerns for a better world, into objects and activities which have potential for change.”