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Glass

Glass is a medium that I began to explore during my training in art psychotherapy. I found myself fascinated and almost obsessed with the different colours and varieties of glass which can be transparent, reflective and opaque. The contradictory nature of glass appealed to me for its metaphoric language of my experience of life; it can be so sharp that it cuts, yet when heated in the kiln it takes on a soft and tactile appearance. The unpredictable nature of kiln-fired glass forces you to be patient and keeps you in suspense as you wait to see how the glass reacts to the heat of the kiln; the result is not always as you had planned or hoped but is always exciting!

I mostly work intuitively in glass, letting the materials and my feelings inspire my designs. Images I have seen in nature or in dreams find their way into the pieces. The designs that arise through this process provide metaphors for my conscious and unconscious emotions. It is a meditative process in which I reflect on the feelings that arise from the shapes, colours and lines of the glass and the wire as I work. I then explore these images further to produce a series based on a particular theme that has arisen through the process of making my artwork. The resulting images provide reflections of my inner emotional world.

I like to use broken remnants of larger pieces of glass and combine them with pieces I cut myself. Sometimes I use pieces of found wire and objects; making special the pieces which might otherwise be considered worthless, lost or broken.

Boundary and Containment Series

In the ‘Boundaries and Containment’ series, using colour, shape and texture, I found myself exploring themes of boundary and containment which related to my training as an art psychotherapist. I explored the nature of clarity and opacity. I made shapes that were crowded and empty, contained and exposed, bold and delicate. Through my reflections I realised that this work is about trying to find a balance between the extremes of light and darkness; a simplicity, a beauty and an inner peace within the chaos of life.

Belonging Series

This theme originally came from a drawing that I made during an experiential group workshop at university. It explores my experiences of being in different groups throughout my training and also from thinking about the many different groups that we each belong to in life. The circles represent a range of different emotions that arise from my experiences of belonging to a group, leaving a group, joining new groups and experiencing the ending of groups.

Trees Series

For me, the statuesque quality of trees seems to express the physical and bodily aspects of human emotions. As I travel through the landscape in my daily life I am drawn to certain trees for the way they hold themselves and how they inhabit the landscape around them. Images of these trees stay with me in my mind and connect with the physical aspects of my emotions, giving me a metaphor with which to express feelings that cannot be easily put into words.

Journeys Series

These pieces explore the many different paths we tread, on our journey through life. The lines represent paths of many kinds, some easy, some tangled, some treacherous and broken. The simple and the maze like- the terrain varies with the experience of life.

Wounded Healer Series

A vital element of training to be an art psychotherapist is learning to look at our own difficult experiences of life. The myth of the Wounded Healer describes how the desire to help others is believed to stem from a need to heal yourself and it is believed that in order to truly help others to heal their pain, you need to have experienced, become aware of and processed painful experiences for yourself too. This process of acknowledging and trying to understand our emotions should also be an on-going process. In this series I explore the feelings of being wounded and healing, using clay and glass in combination.