From my studio in West Wales, I work as a freelance textile designer and artist. I create original textile designs, which successfully sell worldwide within the home furnishing and fashion industry. Alongside my designs, I work as an artist creating one off art pieces in the form of hangings and panels. I have exhibited widely in Europe and sold to restaurants, corporate and private collectors.
I have an eclectic style, which brings together my rustic Welsh and exotic Malaysian roots. With my affinity for all things oriental, organic and natural, my love for texture, colour and balance resonate in my work. I explore traditional themes, gather inspiration, then I add a contemporary, abstracted twist to my work. My mother tells me when I was little I always loved drawing and patterns, but didn’t like to overload my piece of paper. I would draw my simple shapes and then would constantly ask for a new piece of paper to start a fresh again!
I studied Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London and lived and worked in London and Copenhagen before settling in Wales. I love to travel and have set up a studio wherever I settle. I have been creating, exhibiting and collecting as I meander.
Designing and simplifying ideas needs time and space. I like playing around and experimenting with my concepts. I feel it is essential as that’s when ideas, old and new emerge. Getting to the absolute core of an idea or the real essence of your thoughts is all part of the creative process, which I love.
Inspiration comes essentially from the natural world. I love being out doors, observing the sea, the rocks, the beach, the woods and the changing light from day to night, shadows and reflections. I also look to world textiles, different cultures, how they dress and adorn themselves, decorate their homes, their ceremonies and traditions. I love to visit museums and observe old botanical drawings and natural history oceanic drawings from another time. I photograph, sketch and explore these themes concentrating on shapes and textures.
All these inspirations get recorded as I see them and are transferred into my sketchbooks. These sketchbooks become quite treasured, as they keep my observations and findings safe, often returning to them years later to resurge ideas.
I love cities too and picking up on the buzz of new trends and cultures. Also seeing who’s exhibiting and what’s emerging in art, design and architecture. I regularly visit specific conferences and events to keep in touch with current trends and new fabric, print, weave and dye manufacturing developments.
At present, I am developing my love of natural dyes by attending courses and experimenting at home with plant dyes. It’s an important subject too as we look to our world, looking after it and how we live in it!
In February 2014 I worked at and attended a conference ‘Colours of Nature’ in Kolkata, India organised by Sutra. Sutra is an inspiring non-profit organisation promoting and preserving Indian textile heritage. I also represented Sutra in Taiwan at the International Forum on Natural Dyes and Weft Taiwan in October 2014. These visits were incredibly enriching and unique experiences where we met scientists, designers, artists and students from around the world, whom we shared an affinity with all things natural.
I have started working with a few intriguing artists and designers who create natural, beautifully hand crafted products in India and Taiwan. Sourcing directly from these makers on a small scale, means I can work ethically and pay fairly. I am building on a small collection of scarves, shawls, paper products and bee’s wax natural dye crayons. I travel around selling at textiles fairs such as Selvedge Spring Fair.
As I delve deeper into this world of natural dyes, I am gaining knowledge and skills. From this, I hope to use my wealth of design skills and collaborate further with these artists and makers. So a collection/exhibition is in the making! Watch this space!