Inspired by the natural world from an early age I remember walking through the woods, glens and unspoiled beaches around the North East of the Scottish Highlands where I grew up. I would marvel at the colours and forms of plants particularly the way that Mother Nature would overcome any obstacle to cover man made desecration with green shoots and living things…
My bedroom windowsill was crammed with found objects, fir cones, shells, sea bleached wood, glass and animal skulls. My work table filled with sketches, scraps of fabric, crumpled leaves and jars of wild flowers which I would try to replicate on paper. In those days I was unaware of the diversity of medium available to capture form but I always knew that it was texture and the building up of tactile sensations which interested me most of all.
This passion was fulfilled on a three year Degree course studying Textile Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee before life, bills and the need to support my children got in the way. Through it all I continued to fill notebooks and our home with ideas, sketches, bits of rusty metal and other paraphernalia determined that I would “do something” with them someday…
Throughout my life I have always had an idea of the way I would like to live and the wild countryside where I would be comfortable and find inspiration… not for me farmed fields with their featureless and fertilised contours! I have happily settled high in the craggy North Pennines in an old lead mining community with dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, wildflowers and a whole wide landscape right on my doorstep to explore daily and capture in art.
A bit of a butterfly when it comes to medium, I began my “third age” career by experimenting with the materials readily available on my daily walks. Local and rare breed raw fleece straight from the Fells for woolwork, willow from the riverside to build up form, grasses and seed heads from overgrown single track verges to make into paper, plants with which to dye carded wool, recycled and vintage fabric which I couldn’t bear to throw away.
It seemed natural to explore felt in all it’s aspects with a contemporary style adding textiles, found objects and willow to create sculptural forms in 3D structures – all inspired by organic form.
I think the term Organic Artist best defines my work because whichever medium I use is predominantly gleaned from Nature and the Collections I’m working on are inspired by observations of daily country life or the amazing colours and naive style of indigenous tribal Art.
I am incredibly fortunate to finally be able to fulfil my childhood dream of living a lifestyle which allows me the freedom to express my intrinsic creativity after so long and feel that Mother Nature has reclaimed me in much the same way as she reclaims inorganic structures with her green shoots and new growth.
I hope you like my work and feel you can contact me with any questions or observations… Sandie x