I am a born maker and creator. Being creative is something that has been with me from a very young age. Arguing over cardboard or a cereal box was the norm in our house as children and there was always paint, colours, and crafting materials on hand for us to experiment with. I always kept a diary to capture my thoughts and ideas and was constantly sketching, doodling and taking notes. Looking back now, this was probably the initial groundwork for researching and developing the ideas and concepts that define how I work today.
Like so many other established artists, I was offered a place in Art college in the early 1990s, but took a different route and graduated as a teacher of English and Physical Education, from University of Limerick. While it was not my desired course, those four years gave me so many memories, laughs, and forever friends. I started Art college as a mature student at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology many years later and obtained a degree in Fine Art. Following on from my degree, which focused on paint, I developed a love of textiles and fabric, and embarked on a self taught journey learning free motion embroidery and hand embroidery. To enhance my learning I immersed myself in workshops where I learned felting, weaving, and tapestry to broaden my skills and expertise.
Having taught at second level for over two decades, I then took a career break to spend time with my young family and to take time for myself and spend time developing my skills as an artist. Even though I love painting, I am naturally drawn to textiles - I love the feeling of the material as I am hand sewing or free motion sewing. The repetition, the hum of the machine, and the sound the needle makes as it pierces the fabric is meditative.
I love seeing the patterns and colour contrasts come alive, playing with different textures, and relief all the while feeling the material move in my hands. Essentially, I am painting with a needle and thread which I find very satisfying. It is in these moments where my true artistic flair and ability shine.