I'm a Scottish writer & poet living on the Fife coast, across the water from Edinburgh. I like to try stuff out & to learn by just following my interests. I use text, still & moving images, sound and materials in my work. I tend to think of it as stuff that is all part of the same process of inquiry. I have been commissioned to read/perform/exhibit my work at arts and literary festivals, comedy clubs, car parks, art galleries and in the woods, across the UK and beyond.
I am interested in articulation, non-cathartic expression, embodied spaces, place, movement, and memory (and in the intersections and gaps between all of these, and points of transformation). I coined a phrase "the applicable tenses of" that I have used in various iterations as the title for written pieces and photographs and it perhaps best exemplifies what I am trying to work out, without fully knowing what that is. Maybe the multiple selves/realities that collide in the moment? I have no great plan and am driven by interest and hopefully a sense of more than me, despite much of my work emanating from experience. I like the dreamscape of frank truths and the blur of imperfection. I also like concrete, graffiti, the sea, ferns, caravans, car parks, dogs, and other people's windows yet dislike tropes. I have collaborated with a range of musicians, artists and writers in making work and have also produced several pieces in creative dialogue, site specific experience and collaboration with the wider public.
I had my first fiction piece, Foot-binding, published in 2013, at 43, in Push, a limited edition sold on the street lit mag, (alongside writers such as Jenni Fagan and David Peace) and have since been published in print and online in a diverse range of UK and international publications including Gorse and the Stinging Fly (where my piece, Parallel of Past Imperfect, was commissioned and edited by Sally Rooney) and academic presses such as of Manchester University and Leuven University. I also took part in Poettrio, a collaborative writing as transIation project at the University of Newcastle.
I was chosen to read my fiction The Sweetie Wife at Edinburgh International Book Festival's Storyshop for emerging writers in 2014 (later runner up in the Hysteria Prize). My first piece of nonfiction work, Meandering Route of the Muscle Memories, was chosen for inclusion in the Book Week Scotland anthology in 2015.
In 2016 I was long-listed in the international experimental nonfiction prize run by the Lifted Brow/RMIT in Australia (judged by Dodie Bellamy, Kate Zambreno & Helen MacDonald) for When Flakes of Ash Fall and Melt Into Water, a section of The Absolution of Shyness, my hybrid sequence of experimental work exploring articulation, expected neonatal death, place, connection, craft and what of the private we make public and why. The Absolution of Shyness incorporates text, images, video, sound, paintings and objects and is iterative in form. Some sections are currently available others will be when the work as a whole is made public in forthcoming installation/release/print.
I have had my photography and moving image work commissioned/exhibited in the UK and Ireland and have also been invited to speak about my text and image practice at academic conferences such as the Digital Re-enchantment Conference run by Manchester Metropolitan University in 2016 and as art of the Architecture Fringe in Edinburgh, 2018. I was commissioned by the Not Quite Light Festival in Salford in 2018 and 2019. A series of images was commissioned by writer/editor Jenn Ashworth for Lune Journal, a journal of experimental writing. Soma Gosh interviewed me about my text and image practice for the Demented Goddess magazine.
I made my 21 minute media art installation Can You Hear the Interim as part of a postgraduate MSc in experimental Filmmaking and Media Arts at Glasgow University, graduating with first class distinction in December 2020. I have also published writing in relation to this process and am planning further practice led PhD research. I've also produced a series of large scale, related paintings.
Having worked a lot with spoken word I have been increasingly interested in working with sound. I undertook an ecoacoustics residency with composers and sound artists Annea Lockwood and Leah Barclay in 2019, following an initial self led residency at Camp in France in 2018 which led to me producing my first sound work, Confluence. I have since designed and performed the sound for Can You Hear the Interim (2020) using electronics, field recordings, harmonium, piano and harmonica. I released a soundscape (field and binaural recordings, spoken word), Memory of Unrepeat (Slow Notes for Voegelin) as part of a the Slow Notes series by Broken 20 records.
I created my first sound only piece (without words), We Were Never Real, for the Dark Outside broadcast as part of Aerial Festival in 2020. Prior to this I created a spoken word/harmonica piece for The Dark Outside as part of the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture event in 2019. In September 2021 I was commissioned by Sanctuary Lab to create and install my sound installation "if trees were lone women what would they sound like", a collaborative work that brought together the sounds, music and words of 140 women from around the world in the trees of Galloway Forest.
Birl of Unmap a Help Musicians UK Fusion Funded album with Scottish experimental composers Kinbrae is my collaborative response to a former mining site/ Charles Jencks land art site near Kelty in Fife. Released on 11th February 2022 by Full Spectrum Records in the US and The Dark Outside in the UK. It is a collaborative project of many layers of words, sound, thought and feeling that brings together interest in place, articulation and experimentation. In addition to originating the album and track concepts, writing, speaking, singing and arranging my own and other I also researched, originated track concepts (other than track 4), directed and arranged the words of other voices included and titled the album and all tracks. I provided field recordings on Carbide Fizz and Half Seen Truths of the M90, play harmonium on the opening and closing tracks and spinning top on Undersouls. I also undertook the research and oral history recording and arranged tracks 1,2, 3, 6 and 8 in relation to music initially arranged by Kinbrae. Birl of Unmap was preformed live at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh on 27th April as part of James Yorkston's Tae Sup series
I'm still finishing stuff. This is not a shop window nor even a window to my soul. Though I may be selling some prints here soon.
I also founded & co-ordinate Lone Women in Flashes of Wilderness project and have undertaken various commissions including Sanctuary Lab Visual Arts, the Not Quite Light Festival. I was commissioned as part of the first ever London Borough of Culture celebrations in Waltham Forest 2019, to design and led the first ever all women night walk in Epping Forest.
All words & images are copyright to me unless otherwise stated. If you would like to use any please just ask me.
Ideas of place, the forgotten, the disarray of unknown
Ideas & interactions of movement & expression, can you hear the interim
Ideas of inside and out, in patterns of embed