Hello and thank you for visiting my website

I hope you’ve made it on to this page because you chose to be here. You saw an image or some words that interested you and you decided to find out more. If I’m not your cup of tea then thanks for calling by, it was nice to see you, and if we meet in the future mine’s a herbal, chai or a good old cup of builders tea.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift… that’s why they call it the present”

Kung Fu Panda Wisdom

I have created this website as a digital archive of my work, an online gallery, past, present and future. I have taken up a self directed artist residency in my own home, in my cellar studio, my sanctuary. In 2008 I slipped off the radar, due to an illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME), ventured onto my own path and haven’t looked back. My visible and invisible full time role is motherhood. My creative work centres on motherhood, my difficult fertility journey to becoming a mother, the birth of me as a mother and the challenges of modern motherhood, a very undervalued role in our society. I am a mother artist. Sometimes I create work with my son, he is my biggest influence, my greatest creation. He has given me permission to share some of his work.

I was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire (UK) and haven’t moved far from my hometown, other than to travel on a year long round the world trip in May 2003 / 2004 which opened my eyes and broadened my horizons. I love to travel to different places and experience other cultures but I always like to come home to my roots. People and connections are important to me and my family and friends live close by. They say “It takes a village to raise a child” and I find this is particularly important having an only child.

I wear many different hats and try my best to juggle them all. I am an artist, crafter, writer, poet, wife, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, auntie, friend, creative activist, feminist, home maker, fun maker, educator, breastfeeding advocate, philosopher, dreamer and a dedicated change maker. A lover, and a fighter – for all that is good and right.

Making time to be creative is like the air I need to breathe, it fuels my return to my caring role as a mother and the repetitive and mountainous domestic tasks associated with motherhood. I describe myself as a mother artist, writer and creative activist. In 2018 I bought a brilliant book called The Rainbow Way by Lucy H Pearce, who shares stories of the lost feminine archetype, the Creative Rainbow Mother. I really identified with this archetype. It helped me to affirm and accept the life I was already living as a mother and maker and my constant need to find a healthy balance between my mothering and my making.

My creative practice has very much been a story of unravelling the threads of life, connecting and joining new threads, unlocking, unpicking and picking up the pieces along the way. An exploration of self, of grief and heartache, of happiness and joy. Light meeting darkness. Darkness meeting light. The emotional rollercoaster of motherhood. The heaviness of fertility and the longing for something you can’t have. I write to make sense of it all. To process my head thoughts. Poems spill onto the page in the dead of night. Intuitive drawings fill blank pages. I sit and hand sew or knit to force myself to sit down and not keep going on the treadmill of the never ending to do list. Life isn’t conventional for me, it’s a culmination of lived experience, of paths taken, new directions forged, fears dispelled, brave conquered, layers peeled away, the new self finding the old self and saying “All is well, all is well”.

At the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, I joined a local Maternal Journal group on zoom, run by my friend and expert facilitator Fanny Pogson. The group evolved into Natal Notes, with a core group of open hearted women, all mothers, within a safe (square box) space to share our writing and creativity every Tuesday night. The tears, laughter, friendship and support has been one of the things that kept me afloat through the many lockdowns and continuing on to the present day. Some of the women I have not yet met in person but we all shared a common goal at that first zoom session, to find connection, community, friendship and support and to heal through writing.

Here’s a little bit about me…

In 2015, when my son was one year old I got the opportunity to share a studio with three friends, who are all mothers. This was a spring board for me to reconnect and reignite my creativity, going back to my textile roots and exploring new skills. In 2016 I founded my local Mothers Who Make hub in Halifax, West Yorkshire (UK) and represented Mothers Who Make on the programme Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio) in August 2018. I am passionate about women supporting women, mothers supporting mothers. Motherhood, infertility, mental health, alternative health, feminism and women’s place(s) in the world are important influences on my life, my mothering and my work.

In 2016 I trained as a breastfeeding peer supporter, attended a web design course and set up my own business all before my son started school. I started running vision board workshops and became passionate about helping other mothers to nurture themselves and their creativity. Sadly in 2019 there was a fire at the mill where I shared a studio and I had to return home, losing my workshop space. Here the deep emotional work began. I faced not only the grief of losing my studio and the support of my friends but the grief of my entire 15 year fertility journey landed at my door. My work ventured into the darkness, unlocking emotions not dealt with at the time and sitting with them.

My poems The Rice April 2020 and Isolation May 2020 were published on the Dwell Time website in lockdown. My poem Isolation was also chosen for the Writing Corner on the Sheroes in Quarantine websites in May 2020. Here’s a little video of me (and my son) in conversation with Sheroes in Quarantine about my piece, with the help, or should I say distraction of my son. I have only just seen this video, nearly two years later. This to me sums up the pull between motherhood and making, both so vital to me, both grappling for my attention and love. I have so much to say but can’t get the words out for the beautiful distraction by my side. That’s why poetry has become such a great outlet for my creativity, healing and mental wellbeing. It allows me to put my thoughts into words, my words quickly spill onto the page in the gaps and the silence in between.

In July 2020 I was interviewed by Mothers Who Make founder Matilda Leyser about becoming a Matron Saint, why I support the MWM movement and all things mothering and making. In lockdown I started attending monthly Inter/national Peer Support Zoom meetings, which were (and continue to be) a lifeline when working from home and in the time of home schooling.

In August 2020 I joined the newly formed The Mum Poet Club. My poem The Stretchy Bungee Cord was chosen for the first The Mum Poet Club Zine in October 2020. In December 2020 my poem The Shape of Me was included in the second zine The Mum Poet Club Guide To Self Care. My poem The Ring of Expectation is featured in Songs of Love and Strength book, an anthology of poems on motherhood, published by The Mum Poem Press in May 2021.

I have attended many open mic nights hosted by The Mum Poem Press and read some of my poems. Here’s a video of the book launch for The Mum Poem Press anthology at the Saboteur Awards Festival 2021.

In November 2021 my poem Pho got accepted to be a part of a fantastic project called The Mothers: Life in Lockdown.

This month, January 2022, I became a member of the Spilt Milk Gallery and look forward to focusing on getting my artwork into some physical galleries and continuing to submit my poetry.

In March 2022 my writing will be published in the book 100 Voices, that follows an online project 100 Voices for 100 Years by Miranda Roszkowski. 100 women were asked to share their stories of achievement and triumph over adversity to celebrate the centenary of votes for women. Here is my contribution on the 100 Voices for 100 Years website.