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Degree Show 2003

I originally published this on the 22nd June 2022 on my Patreon platform. Additional note, I graduated 20 years ago this very month.



First class, BDes hons Interior and Environmental Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design 2003 degree show, Dundee. The show was made up of 6 handmade dolls in individual handmade boxes reminiscent of boxed toys. 3 told stories of actual events in my life the other 3 conveyed feelings. In each box I created an environment that the dolls inhabited, using photographs, old wallpaper and curtains.

Poland - represents the great feelings of love I was washed with on a trip to see family. The doll has a little note of love incorporated over the heart written in Polish - Kocham Cię - I love you.


-Trigger Warning-

Anya - is dedicated to my little sister who died at 10 months when I was 14. The work references a sculpture my mum made as an art student about the hole that was left behind by the loss of her child. Anya was 10 months old and much loved by everyone, she was an absolute delight. I loved snuggling next to her at nap time to stop her falling off the sofa. I still cry at the loss of my sister even after all these years, she would have been 34 last month.

Within the work i have included curtains that were in the house we lived in and a photograph of her clothes. I still keep these little items in my bedside cabinet. The cardigan was knitted by my Auntie Effie (if i'm remembering correctly).

Her loss was enormous and if we hadn't lost her it would be unlikely that my youngest brother would be here. He came into the world about a year and a half later.


Termination - Abortion at age 19. I was 5 weeks pregnant and in no way conflicted in my decision. I knew I wanted rid of it. 8AM, 30th Dec 1992 I went into the ward for a vacuum aspiration. What I remember most about that day was my flat mate inviting her stoner pals round to smoke in my living room while I felt like shit after the anaesthetic and the procedure. About 6 month later I had a delayed reaction to the event and became quite depressed. I really struggled with the fact I'd got rid of a baby deliberately after my mum had lost her wanted baby. Fortunately the college had a counselling service that helped me work through it.


Constraints of Life, Broken Yet Optimistic and Broken - At the time of my degree show I was seeing a guy who's wife had died 7 years previously. He used her death as a barrier to being close while at the same time leading me on and emotionally fucking with me. My low self esteem and savour issues let me tolerate his behaviour for about a year. He had 3 kids and I was even willing to embrace them into my future.


While I'm writing this I'm realising that the 2 times friends have pushed me towards their school friend/brother in law, my life has been flipped upside down and I spent a lot of time in tears, conflict, confusion and uncertainty. On both occasions I remember my friends saying I'd be good for them. I don't think it even occurred to them as to whether they would be good for me. It didn't occur to me either.


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