‘Mapping Marks – A Journey of the Hand’ Narberth Museum CASW Commission 2016

I was one of four artists commissioned by The Contemporary Art Society Of Wales (CASW) to create works in response to the collection at Narberth Museum, Pembrokeshire. The commission unravelled with examining a single late 1800’s women’s clog (Welsh slipper), which caught my attention while delving through the museum’s shoe archive. I’d recently been learning how to stitch traditional leatherwork and was therefore drawn to the butt stitching and construction. The clog evoked a strong sense of nostalgia, I had a tenacious  desire to emulate the hand made marks, shapes, stitches and aged elements to recreate the journey of the hand of the clog maker.

Using vintage hemp fabric, wood, leather, suede, linen thread and metallic thread within the work, I combined old and new techniques by stitching, appliqueing and printing both digitally and by hand. I focused in on reinterpreting the patterns, marks and textural elements found in this single clog, consciously endeavouring to represent the original materials, colours and textures, giving the pieces a contemporary twist.

The collection of three artworks comprise of:

  • An apron: ‘Bad news goes about in clogs, good news in stockinged feet’,
  • Two leather panels ‘Mapping Marks…journey of a clog-maker 1 & 2’
  • A wooden hanging collection of feet stencils ‘Family of Feet 1,2 & 3’.

I feel content that my work expresses my journey of tactile exploration, while mapping out the historical journey of the clog maker and wearer, retracing their marks and steps, alongside echoing the atmosphere and the superstitions that surrounded them.

The works are part of the permanent collection in Narberth Museum and are on display alongside the three other artist’s commissioned work.