A work in progress focusing entirely on nettles - their role in our childhood, our connection to them as adults, their medicinal and magical properties, nettles in folklore and their use as material within art.
The moment that sparked by interest in nettles was walking into the kitchen while my grandmother was making nettle soup and seeing lots of nettles laid out on our table to dry after she had washed them. I realised nettles don't sting if they had been soaked. That sparked my interest in the properties of the plant.
I think there's something really interesting and worth exploring in such a beautiful, nutritious plant with so many medical properties and a rich history to also be a plant treated like a weed, disregarded in modern gardening, and unwanted because of its sting - which is also meant to be good for you.
I began immediately by playing o the idea of gently handling and making a bouquet from the nettles on my table. That then progressed onto nettles being dropped on me.
Fore a more detailed account of my interest and experimentation with nettles, click here for my blog.
During a two-month studio residency at Spinning Mills studios Leeds, I began experimenting with making paper from nettles. It's a very long, sometimes frustrating process, but I do find it quite rewarding and it forces me to slow down and be patient.
The result is beautiful green paper, in which you can see the fibres of the plant. The paper is strengthened by boiled down okra. I used the paper for printmaking and am planning to make into a book, ideally using thread that I want to spin from nettle fibres.
More more info about the work with nettles during my residency, click here.