Ever since I can remember I always loved drawing, painting and making things with my hands.
In school during A Levels, I used to spend my break time and lunch breaks in the Art department, painting and drawing - losing myself totally in what I was creating and discovering the joy in being inspired and being able to channel creativity. When I was in Central Saint Martins we explored different ways of how to express that creativity, and I was drawn away from paper and canvas to the concept of making wearable pieces of art, not just something to be looked at and appreciated, but something that goes further than that and becomes a more integral part of someone else’s life.
A type of Art that in order to be complete needs to involve the person who is wearing it.
The first piece I made with this in mind was for a themed concept we had been given to work on in College: Protection, and I made a dress from oyster shells. I was not sure if this was a sculpture or a garment, but thats where I realised the interconnectedness of art and clothing/jewellery.
My classmate Leigh Keily took some photos of me wearing the dress which you can see!
After college I did a chainmaille course in South Africa and immediately knew I wanted to make clothing from this amazing method of weaving with metal. The first waistcoat I made was from Aluminium, but I later decided to use Stainless Steel as it is non tarnish and much stronger. I thought, if I am making clothing and jewellery for real life, it has got to be tough and strong. Strength and non corrosiveness have become a paramount feature in all I make, I guess I just want the pieces to be practical, and remain as intended for as long as possible.
Also, being able to go in the water without taking them off adds to their appeal.
I think this desire for time and wear to not affect the pieces is a way to create something which can’t be lost or changed, to have something you can always count on to be there.
For me, making clothing out of materials you would not usually wear is fascinating because you give substance to the artwork via the material. People ask what inspires me, and I have to admit it is actually the materials themselves. The feel of the solid steel mesh that then has a similarity to water when woven into chainmaille, the solidity and flexibility of the chains and how they hang, move and react in relation to gravity and the movement of whoever is wearing them. The smoothness and hardness of Mother of Pearl and the way light shines through the Swarovski Crystals.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, I was surrounded by so much local craftwork, different types of mesh made from bottle tops, beads and wire so I guess this also inspired me a lot too.
I like to explore the space between the wild and sophisticated, the delicate and the bold.
I have my studio in my house in Ibiza, where I hand make all my pieces.