Sunday, October 23, 2011


nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past

I think it's fair to say i'm guilty of this wistful affection for the past. I find inspiration in family photographs, mainly those taken before my lifetime. Of course a photograph represents just one moment in time, an idealised image of life- but I feel somehow closer to those family members portrayed, even if they are no longer around. Our own memories aren't picture perfect, there are always gaps and blurring between events- to me it is the combination of the photographs in our family album and the snippets of memories that create nostalgia..a longing for times past.

In 3rd year at Uni, I did a project where I manipulated some of these old photographs and layered them together. Sometimes I used several generations of my family in one piece, each image blurring and combining to create something new. I plan on working with these images further, maybe using collage and paint to represent the layers. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Every so often I get the urge to draw again, but i'm finding it difficult to get any ideas. So, I decided to raid my sketchbooks and "inspiration" stash of images for some small things to work on. The first is drawn from one of many small photo postcards I acquired and have been wanting to do something with for years.

In contrast to the sombre black and white portrait, I found a lovely picture of my Auntie as a child. For some reason I chose a smaller scale for this as well (roughly A5). I think maybe working smaller is less daunting when you've had a creative block for awhile. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Beats

I decided after the Degree Show finished (a whole 4 months ago now) that I needed some new projects to work on. So I've been working on a portrait as a present for some family friends- The Beat family. It's A3, which is fairly small by my standards but the larger versions I attempted just didn't look right. This is the first time i've done a portrait with so many people in it, which was quite a challenge. Hopefully I managed to get everyone's likeness. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My favourite particle physicist

OK, so he's actually the only particle physicist I know- Professor Brian Cox. I have been in awe of this man for a good few years now, ever since I first saw him on TV talking about science. If you know me, you'll know that science is (sadly) not one of my strong subjects but I think that Brian's enthusiasm on the subject is enough to teach anyone the basics at least. Prof.Cox- I salute you.

I'm not sure about the background on this one- I just went a bit crazy with pattern and colour to see what would happen. I used coloured pencils for the initial portrait and then introduced my old favourite- the permanent marker. The halo-esque shape just proves that old habits are hard to break. I do quite like the idea of depicting Brian Cox as a modern day icon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Busy week

I've been back in Edinburgh again this week (it may be becoming a habit). The above photo was taken last year when it was sunny and warm on our visit to the Fringe festival. Unfortunately, yesterday it was raining heavily all day long, so no photographic evidence from the visit- although my camera is still playing up a bit anyway so it may not have let me take any.

I took my friend and boyfriend in to Caravan to see the exhibition. The team have uploaded photos online from the opening night so I thought i'd include a couple (courtesy of the lovely Abi I believe):
Me with my work installed in the gallery 

Opening night= balloons and good times

After our gallery visit we headed to Pleasance Courtyard to see Isy Suttie's fringe show.  Isy was amazing and her mixture of comedy, storytelling and singing was enough to brighten our day despite the rain- I would highly recommend going if you're in Edinburgh this month.

Our final stop was the show that my boyfriend, Sean is starring in.
The Michael Farcical show is part of the free festival line-up this year and has been really well received.  It finishes on Saturday- so get there while you still can. Sean and his fellow farcical-ists all did really well (I would never be able to get up on stage and do a show to a room of strangers!).

There may also be an artwork related update soon!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Caravan Exhibition

Last night was the opening of the first ever Caravan  exhibition. It was great to see all the other work and meet the artists who made it. Also a big thank you has to go to the brains of the operation; Abi, Ian and Julz and their friends/families, who made it all happen.  Unfortunately I didn't take any photos because my camera is broken (sad face), but there were lots taken so hopefully they will appear over on the Caravan blog soon.
If you're in Edinburgh over the next two weeks, pop in to see the exhibition at 28 Lady Lawson Street.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A productive day in Edinburgh

Yesterday I went through to Edinburgh to drop off some pieces of work for the upcoming Caravan exhibition. I met some of the lovely team, who were very happy and enthusiastic about my work. The exhibition opening is most likely at the beginning of August as there have been a few setbacks with getting the actual Caravan up and running on time. I will update as soon as dates are confirmed.

After dropping off my work, I tagged along with a couple of friends as they viewed flats in Leith. They are hoping to move to Edinburgh in September. Although it seems like everyone is leaving Dundee, the good thing is I have friends in most of the other major cities now to visit.

Although I seem to have been experiencing the post-Degree Show creative slump, I have some new ideas milling around in my head at the moment to move my work forward. Here's some snippets of what i've been looking at. The religious ideas and the aspect of icon worship that appeared in my Degree Show work will remain- but I am branching out in new directions. I also want to explore how death is viewed in different cultures and religions, starting with Mexico's traditional 'Day of the Dead' festival. I love the idea that they celebrate the lives of their loved ones who've passed on and invite their souls back to join in on the party...

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Day of the Dead

Saturday, July 16, 2011

And i'm back!

So, it's been a while since I updated my blog (again!). Since I last updated, i've been doing all sorts of exciting things:
I graduated on 23rd June (to a backdrop of torrential rain and thunder!)

Spent a week in sunny Berlin, drinking lots of this stuff.

I also turned 22 last week. But my most exciting news is that i've been invited by the lovely people at Caravan to take part in their opening exhibition.
You can check them out here-  

So now I have to decide which pieces will be coming down to Edinburgh with me next week when I get to see the gallery for the first time. Possibly these three pieces among others, although I may well change my mind:

Ava Gardner

Arlene Dahl

Bob Hope

Saturday, June 11, 2011


In the spirit of moving on after the Degree Show, there's a possible collaboration in the works between myself and the lovely Claire Borwell. It's in the planning stages at the moment but will definitely be awesome. You can check out Claire's blog here:    

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Degree Show

I have finally uploaded my photos from the Degree Show after a week long break.

Here's the exciting part- my name! I got vinyl lettering printed to put up in my space and once that was up, it all felt so official. 

I took lots of photos of my longest wall of pieces (30 in total), although it was difficult to capture the whole line:

My other framed pieces were next to the door of the studio, and they attracted a lot of attention when visitors came in:

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo without some glare from the high windows in our space, but you get the idea. In addition to the Hollywood film stars, there are three religious pieces in this set. 

The part of my show that seemed to attract the most interest was my installation, this combined the Hollywood pieces with religious ones, overlapping in an attempt to blur the boundaries between the two. Because all of my works are on parchment paper, the transparency lent itself well to layering. Another reason for pinning these pieces up was to allow people to see how the work was created. I was asked many times during the show what material i'd used for my pieces and when I explained that it was permanent marker on parchment paper, it helped to show the layered wall to make this a bit clearer. This was the piece that was photographed for the Courier:

Here's a shot from my invigilating corner, to give you an idea of the space as a whole. To the left of my 'nine block' you can see three of Lisa's pieces (I shared the studio space with Lisa and Lauren).

Here's the lovely flowers I was given at the show opening night, the left hand ones are from my boyfriend, Sean and the ones on the right are from my parents:

I didn't take any photos on the opening night because it got so busy, but my mum brought her camera and took some. Here we are, my mum, me and my cousin:

Hope you enjoyed my round-up of the show. A lot of lovely people came to see it and it was overall a good week (if a bit tiring!). 
Here's to the start of everything to come.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All done.

Apologies for my complete lack of updates for almost a month. The Degree Show is now all done and us 4th years are taking our work down during the next 2 weeks. I can't believe that 4 years at university has flown by so quickly. I have lots of snippets of the show to post, once I sort through all of my photos etc, so watch this space!
In the meantime, check out this review of the show- including my work :)

I also got a mention in the Dundee Courier at the beginning of the show, which was very unexpected. With such a huge number of students showing work (over 300) and around 80 in Fine Art alone, it is lovely to be picked out of that many people and get a bit of coverage.

Before I go, I just want to thank all the people who came along to this year's Degree Show and the many people who spent time looking at my work and talking to me about it.

More soon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

One day left

Today is the last day to prepare Degree Show spaces, get everything up and looking perfect for assessment. We find out next Wednesday our grade and then the show opens on Friday 20th. It's all a bit terrifying to be honest! Anyway, i'm going to get the last of my sketchbooks together and go into uni. More later.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cary Grant

Again, apologies for the shiny, rippled effect of the scan...It doesn't look like this in real life when it is framed. I decided to upload Cary Grant as i'm about to start watching 'An Affair to Remember ' while I finish a few more pieces to add to my Degree Show (not long to go now!).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Doris Day

I quite like the colours in this one, usually I would go for a more contrasting colour for the background to make the figure stand out but turquoise seemed to work better. Doris was a request from my boyfriend's auntie- I hope she likes it! This is one for my framed series, which I will explain more about later.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Richard Burton

So, I felt it was only right for Richard Burton to be posted alongside Elizabeth Taylor.

At this point I also want to apologise for the "rippled" effect that appears on some of the scanned images. This is just because the permanent markers I use on the paper make it almost glossy and it doesn't translate well in scans. So far when i've framed the work for Degree Show it's not appeared this way.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Elizabeth Taylor

It's impossible to do a project on Golden Age Hollywood film stars and not include Elizabeth Taylor, however I had actually planned on not drawing her at all... The reason being that, during my time working on this project I made the decision that I should include actors from the time who were still alive- then two of the ones who fell into this category passed away shortly after me drawing them. I know it sounds bizarre but I chose not to draw Elizabeth Taylor because I knew she was ill and I felt it wasn't right to do so.
Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago I heard that she had in fact died- so I felt it was only right that she should be included in my show.
I'll leave you with a fitting quote from the legend herself:

"Most women, when they are depressed or unhappy, go out and buy a new hat.
I used to go out and buy up Dior."

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Here's a couple of sneak peeks of my layered wall pieces. At the moment they're displayed up on my studio wall in a temporary state so I can change the order or add more pieces as I finish them. Because my Degree Show space is actually in the studio next door to my current space, i'll obviously have to move the work and re-install it for the show. I don't know if it will stay the same or be completely new when I put it up again, so we will just have to wait and see what happens.
I'm also thinking of pinning the pieces up with dressmaker's pins, which apparently will involve a tiny drill-bit to prep the wall each time, to prevent the pins from bending when they get put in. This wall could prove to be the most time-consuming part of my Degree Show prep!

Religious pieces

These religious pieces (just two of many) will form part of a layered wall of work for my Degree Show. The idea is to combine the religious pieces with the film star ones and overlap them in such a way that they become merged and the boundaries between the two will blur.
I hope that the use of white highlights and bold colours in the religious pieces are enough to unify them with the other works in my show.