I am currently researching alternative photographic techniques of Cyanotype,Anthotype and Lumen cameraless photography using my garden as a resource for sustainable and ecological printmaking methods.
During my self directed residency at Benmore Botanic Garden in Argyll (2018/19) and my residency with the Scottish Ornithological Club (2019/20) I was inspired by the work of botanist Anna Atkins ( b.1799-1871)
and her early photograms of plants and seaweeds in beautiful Cyanotype blue.

This led to two years of experimenting with Cyanotype and collaged photograms made from my collection of photographs of the arbitrary,the out of place lost objects of generations past.These objects shedding their colour and shape slowly consumed by the natural world have an ephemeral feel which I tend to gravitate towards.

As everything has become more localised and travel restricted with the pandemic, my arts practice has become more focused on my garden and the forest tracks above the coastline of Cowal where I live and work.
I am making infusions to tone my cyanotypes with foraged nettles,Rowan berries ,Himalayan Honeysuckle berries,Buddleia flowers,Horseradish leaves and anything growing in abundance and in season.
The hedgerow and my garden have become a wonderful resource for understanding what is growing at my feet,how to create images that don't rely on chemicals to be developed and fixed and a wonderful
way to connect with others who are also looking at alternative ways of making and doing.

1.Toned cyanotype with Rowan Berries collected from the hedgerow ,boiled for 15 minutes in water and left to infuse for 24hrs,The juice was strained and used as a toner changing the original blueprint to a lovely rich hazelnut brown colour.

2. Toned Cyanotype with Horseradish leaves from the garden,boiled for 10 minutes and left to infuse for 24hrs.The resulting 'tea' toned the blueprint with lovely golden copper tones.

3.Toned Cyanotype with self seeded Himalayan Honeysuckle berries.These berries have a burnt caramel taste when ripe and cook down fast,I left to infuse in the water overnight and strained with a fine mesh the colour was a lovely pigeon grey, green tone.

Natural dyes fit into three categories:  pigment extracted from plant, animal or  mineral.
From the past to present day transcending people and place,there is a wonderful array of methods for utilising and creating with natural dyes.
I am exploring common garden plants ,berries, and seaweeds specific to my local area to develop ink that I can tone, hand colour and print with .The exciting part of my research is to try out some tried and tested recipes  and collaborate and share information with others who are also looking at alternative ways of making and adding colour.
Anthotypes are considered one of the most environmentally friendly alternative printmaking techniques.
This process was originally invented by Mary Somerville (b.1780- 1872),Scottish scientist, writer, and polymath.
To make an anthotype you need to extract the light sensitive juices of the plant called 'emulsion',coat the paper and expose the photogram to sunlight using a simple contact frame.
These anthotypes are from photograms of my collaged photographs.I extracted the light sensitive juices from Horseradish leaves and exposed to sunlight on my studio glass door for three days.
“Perhaps the eye imposes its own rhythm on what is only a confusion: one has to look creatively to see this mass of rock as more than jag and pinnacle- as beauty.”
The Living Mountain - Nan Shepherd.
As a multi-disciplined artist I work with a variety of materials,techniques and experimentation .The experience of making and thinking with my hands is an important aspect of my practice.My research involves constructed sculptural drawings, photographs, cyanotype with traditional and contemporary printing methods.Each work represents a specific moment of exploration.
I studied a BA in Fine Art (First Class Hons)at Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork Ireland ,before embarking on my career as a socially engaged art tutor and self directed studio artist.
I am drawn to the romanticism of rural relics, defunct rusting metal and crumbling stone representing monuments past and past lives. I am transfixed by these disparate fragments and their imagined stories and the excitement gained with chance discoveries of clues and marks from the past. Each found object, a lost button, moss covered stone, lichen hung tree, weathered and washed up wood offers a rich narrative for my working process. I live rurally surrounded by coastline and forestry rich in social history.
Collage, and layering of processes on the page follows and responds to the notion of the surrounding landscape having the same layering, the same collage of disparate processes and functions.Sometimes the environment is hard to comprehend. Individual happenings, functional interventions make sense, but over time meaning becomes obscure and somehow arbitrary, messy, but in a satisfying way. I want my work to recreate this sense.
It cannot be random, when some experienced compositions, relics and materials, seem to vie for attention.
Handcrafted limited edition Porcelain Jewellery.
Each piece is hand formed ,glazed and finished using traditional craft techniques.
I use Porcelain clay that is high fired to 1260c degrees giving strength and a delicate translucent quality to the jewellery.
Each piece takes several days from start to finish.
My designs and colour choice are an extension of my prints and drawings, inspired by the land and coast of the Cowal Peninsula,found objects and botanical specimens.

Online Shop in progress.....

  1. Juno  Design Gallery 142 Argyll Street Dunoon PA23 7NA Scotland 
  2. Auld Kirk Museum Cowgate Kirkintilloch, Glasgow G66 1HN Scotland 
  3. Lillie Gallery Station Rd,Milngavie, Glasgow G62 8BZ Scotland
  4. Dunoon Burgh Hall 195 Argyll street ,Dunoon PA23 7DD scotland
  5. The SOC Waterston House,Aberlady,East Lothian EH32 0PY