Fragility and the transient – immersing myself in the nature of this place, the fragility of plants yet their dogged determination and ability to continue to grow. Being this close to nature constantly reminds me of my transience. These trees have and will continue to out live me. I will do what I can while I am here to nourish, nurture and appreciate their fruit.
Reflecting this within my practice. The repetition of casting and producing objects, running parallel to the seasons and harvest, attempting to perfect but knowing such a thing does not exist. Finding joy in the imperfection, the broken pieces, the shattered, in ‘Calvari’ for example. Then saving these precious pieces and displaying or installing them in an attempt to communicate the process. The balance of life and death and light and dark becomes so apparent here that I find myself physically and mentally more in rhythm with it all.
There is now a reluctance to exist within these four walls. A realisation that this is not where I am supposed to be. This year will see the construction of an alternative studio space within this natural environment.
It is with some urgency that I write this blog.
Work and life in the valley here in the beautiful mountains of Catalunya is peaceful, inspirational and collaborative. I have had the privilege of welcoming volunteers within the workaway project from all over Europe and the rest of the world to help here on the farm with various creative projects, working collaboratively, sharing time, culture, opinions, experiences and skills.
The peace and tranquility of the valley offers space for the creative process. read more »
Pruning olive trees to keep warm this Christmas in a very foggy valley environment. read more »
What a week it’s been here in the valley. We’ve had the absolute pleasure of hosting volunteers from around the world to help harvest the olives here at Riba Rocks HQ.
They came from Italy, Ireland, Texas, Australia, the UK and Catalunya to help prepare, pick and press the wonderful fruit creating some of the best organic olive oil. read more »
This month I co-organised the 3rd annual Riba Rocks music and arts festival here on the finca with the rest of the team plus a fantastic group of volunteers. Both from the workaway scheme and students from London South Bank University, all volunteers worked collaboratively to make this event very special filled with live performances, art workshops and creative installations. read more »
The value of art ‘Con-nec-ted’, Jeju.
From your point of view please could you outline what the project involved.
The project involved a series of skill based workshops including body casting, charcoal making, plaster drawing and clay impression casting as well as live performances. It also involved a series of lectures around the concept of globalism, local versus global culture and environment and a focussed presentation on my practice and exhibition and commission history. read more »
What media do you consider to be your “main” media? Or are you very flexible in the usage of various media?
SM: I like to remain flexible and respond to the working environment with regards to media use. For example a previous residency in Cyprus, surrounded by cacti plants, led to pluck spikes from the plant to thread through my canvases. I try to respond to what exists in my natural environment and that will depend greatly on where I am in the world. read more »
Speech made in Arts Week, June, 2014, NLCS, Jeju.
“Many thanks to the musicians for that wonderful performance. As a practising artist, born in Southampton and now living and working in Spain, I have travelled to Korea for the first time to work here, with outstanding students. read more »
Interview by Hannah Johnson, BA Fine Art at De Montfort University
1) What do you want to express in your artwork? What do you want people to experience, learn or know from your work?
I want to try to communicate what it is to be in and of a body, a female body. I say ‘female’ and that suggests a gendered body. read more »
What are your interests and hobbies – what do you like discussing and doing?
When you say interests and hobbies it perhaps separates life into what you do for a living (money) and what you actually enjoy doing. I am in the very fortunate position of waking up every morning and doing what I am interested in and what could be considered my hobby/passion. read more »
What made you study feminist art?
It wasn’t a conscious decision to ‘study’ a specific area of my practice. It has been more a case of ‘I am who I am’ and my work reflects my experiences, emotions and dreams. I am a female artist who responds in a visual way, to things that provoke a strong reaction. read more »
Katie Weston, currently studying at Portsmouth University on a 3D degree course, contacted the artist stating, “I am so excited to hear of a feminist artist from somewhere so close to me as Southampton! read more »
It all seems to be making a lot more sense to me. The urgent need to create being fulfilled at present with the freedom, time and space to make work as and when I want/need to. I no longer have to time the making of work around other things read more »
My body is caught up in the symmetrical battle on these canvases. Please take away that mirror, reflection line, that Golden Section, perfection, I will never be. We are not perfect, nor beautiful, we are here, that’s enough. read more »
Reflecting on my year in Cyprus; the environment, plant life, animal life, development, consumption, landscape, my aim for the final show was to create a space that reflected my response to all of these physical attributes of the island. read more »
This all consuming, all devouring nature of human kind. In our attempt to live the perfect life, have the perfect body, the perfect house, possessions – we ruin this perfect world. So is this struggle between the skeletal and the sensual related to this? read more »
It’s as if everything that has been until now has disappeared and I have truly lost my ‘self’. ‘Affirmation’ was a complete purge of the system, how I felt about the world, where I lived, other people and myself – an honest and very public portrayal of my frustration and struggle read more »