NETS project

‘NETS’ is a global project across the textile departments of three universities: University of Cumbria (UK), Novia University of Applied Sciences (Finland), Australia National University, Canberra (Australia).  The project aims to build connections between textile departments within higher education and explore new collaborative forms of education through textile practice.  


Musings on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing

Much of today’s media discussion centres on recalling where we were when Neil Armstrong stepped into moondust and uttered those famous words.

I remember clearly so much detail surrounding the event but looking back I can now see that the moon landing is the just the anchor that connects a whole cluster of memories and feelings. It was 1969. The Vietnam war was raging. It was flower power time. I was nineteen. I had just returned from my first independent holiday. I’d travelled for five days by train from Perth to Canberra carrying two huge crepe paper flowers on stems the size of broomsticks and two Beardsley prints on heavy cardboard as souvenirs of my first trip west. This was before trendy backpacks and pull-along bags so I was juggling a suitcase as well. Guess some things are best forgotten.

It was mid morning, Monday I think, when I got home to an empty house – everyone was at work – and settled down to watch the momentous event, hardly believing what I was seeing. While I’d been away my latest record club order had arrived and this record will for the rest of my life be entwined with the moon landing. It was Simon and Garfunkel’s Book Ends and I played it again and again, louder and louder. The multi-tracked Save the Life of my Child whirled and screamed an accompaniment as Neil and Buzz leaped and frolicked on the moon. I believe the word surreal should be used sparingly, but if I’ve ever had a surreal moment, this was it.

Anyway, now for the tenuous connection with nets. Since the workshop, I’ve been mulling over just which angle to approach from. This process started with a review of the work I’ve been making over the last four or five years and not surprisingly the net connection is there. I am thinking of a net being a filter that catches those fleeting, personal moments and feelings that are entirely unique to each person. My focus in general is about memory triggers and making containers or safe repositories for precious memories. I like to think that the container can assume the identity of its contents.

Now for some more pondering………and a few images that seem to fit…..

collecting memories


lace net 1

lace net 2


MVA grad show 002

Memory is personal and unique to each of us. It is our own interpretation and recollection, a sensation sometimes so fleeting that we cannot find words to name it  a vague feeling, a trace of something we know but cannot touch, hidden under semi-transparent layers, distorted………….

I like to believe that my net bowls are filters that can capture and preserve precious snippets of memory – not lots of detail, but more a warmth that links our past and present.

Here are a few images of my ceramic knitting bowls. I’ve been playing with ways of displaying them, but think I’ll go with elevated glass on a long low plinth to incorporate the shadows and reflections.