Gathering Dust, 2023
Linden New Art

Artist Statement

Colloquially, to be gathering dust means to remain unused, to be untouched for a long period of time, it suggests inertia most often within the domestic sphere. It could also suggest a foreboding, those ominous dust storms that have become increasingly common in desert regions as the climate emergency escalates. Dust itself holds connotations of human fragility, death, even disillusionment, disappointment. Ultimately, dust evokes the nothingness we inevitably return to.

Over the past few years, I have wrestled with my role in a new life that requires unrelenting, and undervalued domestic labour – at odds with the feminist values that I had not previously struggled to uphold. Simultaneously, as the climate crisis has deepened, the sense that social and environmental issues are something existing outside the home – no longer resonates. Instead, I have felt these ideas converge and the need to consider a complete re-evaluation of values as something both socially and personally important.

The process of making the Gathering Dust works has acted as a way of thinking through these ideas. The works have been created almost wholly from domestic waste – post consumer garments, yarn, wire, fibres, ribbon, packaging materials, cushion stuffing, doilies, tablecloths, fragments of 21st century household detritus. Those materials are de-constructed and re-interpreted using techniques grounded in my textile practice – such as coiling, spinning, felting, shredding, carding, extruding, tufting, embroidering and knitting.

The works engage in the act of making, re-making and reassembling elements, emphasising their rich histories and their potential for transformation. Furthermore, the waste of one work becomes the basis of the next creating a material vernacular across the show. I have taken the most abject of materials – waste – and changed its aesthetic value using decorative and domestic techniques. I hope that the works will instigate a reassessment of what is valued and why – on a personal level they already have.

Photography by Michael Quinlan.