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I made this embroidery during a period of self reflection, partly brought about by lockdown but also due to a recent relocation back to the island where I grew up. Familiar, but new. It speaks of the place we were in: the famous Gurnard sunset where we had started to swim, the rose bush we found tangled behind the bay bushes; but also all the things still lingering in our mind from the lives we had left behind in London: The gingko we used to visit at Myatt’s Field to track the changing seasons, the victorian-style mantelpiece and wooden-framed mirror where I would take selfies.
Ever since I had completed Helen on Top for the FEMME exhibition at Mana Contemporary, I had gone through a period where inspiration felt hard to come by. Things were slowing down. As we built our new lives afresh, it felt that the power of my created art world began to build back around me. Helen sucked me into her world. I felt the urge to project myself anew, in my new setting.
As I stand there, emboldened by my power to form my own image, draped with flowing fabric and surrounded by the roses that were dormant and hidden in winter, I exude a softness and femininity. At my base, just like the roses, I am also thick and permanent and tough. Selfie love for self love.