Little Selves exhibition

Little Selves is an exhibition celebrating the portrait miniature showcasing exquisite pieces from the collections at New Walk Museum Leicester alongside new work by Leicester Society of Artists members and a schools competition. The exhibition takes place 25 March – 25 June 2017.

min-eye-miniature-timms-1 Although I am no portraitist, I was intrigued by the potential it gave me to create something new. I worked, years ago, on the development of the V&A Portrait Miniatures gallery and have a fondness for tiny, personal portraits. My inspiration for this piece came from this eye miniature of Mrs. Fitzherbert, George Engleheart (1750-1829). Watercolour and gouache on ivory.

“Mrs Maria Fitzherbert was secretly married to the Prince of Wales, later George IV. He stopped all contact with her on his official marriage, but was buried with a miniature of her around his neck. The identity of the single eye was known to the owner, but to no-one else.” From The Story of Leicester.




I am fascinated by personal mementoes and memorials and by human hair and chose to create an eye miniature of my own stitched with hair. Within is drawn from my own eye and stitched with donated human hair on a scrap of Victorian cotton taken from a disintegrated patchwork quilt.


Commission for Shire Hall Gallery

Talking Textiles

12 January – 10 March 2013

“This exhibition features work by 8 contemporary textile artists who explore how stories are represented through their work. Using a wide range of materials, techniques and processes each artist creates unique pieces which on further inspection reveal their fascinating stories.
From life in the sixties to the women and children working in the cotton mills during the 1900s and even King Kong visiting Birmingham City Centre – this work will fascinate and intrigue you!
Exhibiting Artists: Stewart Easton, Viv Hew, Val Jackson, Faith Kane, Ruth Pigott, Donna Rumble-Smith, Ruth Singer and Christine Stanford. “

I’m exhibiting the Circles Coat which was collaboratively made earlier this year, as well as a new commission. 

Circles Coat

The commission

The curator was interested in my Monumental Folly pieces and wanted to commission a piece inspired by the Shire Hall Gallery building. The gallery is based in converted 18th century court building with surviving panelled courtrooms, pastel-coloured plasterwork ceilings, holding cells and a whole range of interesting patterns, textures and shapes. 

Normally, details like this would lead my work. I love texture, pattern and detail like this. But when I visited the building, what really struck me – almost haunted me – were the Victorian mug shots of criminals, particularly those with their hands on their chests. I didn’t exactly choose them, they chose me.

Photograps used in the work are courtesy of Staffordshire Record Office. 

I have used the motif of hands to create a collection exploring the layers of history embedded within the building and within the lives of the women shown in the photographs. Several of the pieces take the form of miniature quilts which refer back to the domestic lives of these women and I am very much influenced by the types of clothing and fabrics they might have known during their life times. The muted colour palette I have chosen also links to the sepia-toned photographs as well as the structure of the building in wood, stone and lead.

I’m still working on the collection, but I have finished a couple of pieces. 

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 Background print is an image of Shire Hall, image by kind consent of the trustees of the William Salt Library

Additional photos of all the finished pieces can be found on Flickr