Hard to Swallow: Unruly Objects

Date: October 16, 2016 Category: ,


I have often drawn directly on to found objects to create alluring and unsettling art objects. These works investigate the transformative potential of drawing and have the resonance of personal relics or talismans.

Many of these drawings depict film noir ‘anti-heroines’ – the spoon symbolises nurture and oral gratification but the subject may be ‘Hard to Swallow’.



Beguiling drawings (part woman, part doll) on white satin bridal shoes and on soft suede ‘nude’ gloves. These symbolic objects of the feminine question the ‘happy ever after’ sold to the girl in traditional fairy tales.


I am fascinated in the German ‘Romantic Grotesque’ with its tradition for dolls and puppets as human substitutes in the literary imagination.  These objects are believed to have originally functioned as objects of worship: within my contemporary context they may yet still function as secular idols.

I consider drawing to be inherently ‘uncanny’ – how, through drawing, the lifeless can be made ‘live’.

Tiny drawings of pre-Christian female relics, thought to be ‘fertility’ figures, on a set of commemorative Royal souvenir spoons.

Drawings of the anatomical development of the female form on a canteen of fish cutlery. Notions of self-image and distorted relationships to eating made explicit.

Another ‘doll-woman’ on the sole of a sequinned dancing shoe, seen distorted through its display case. This figure can be perceived as being both trapped beneath the shoe and inside the transparent case and makes reference to the iconography of the fairy tales I grew up with: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the Red Shoes – all of which present codified instructions on the moral bounds of female behaviours.

Found objects sculptures from the series ‘Unruly Objects’ 2001

Maid of Honour 2001

Sisters 2001

Untitled 2001