Friday, 30 March 2012


I have always loved creative writing, especially poetry and I love to use text in my work. In the past I have been inspired to create work based on many different things but for these panels the reasoning was quite simple. I was staying in Germany above a glass studio I was working for at the time and when they gave me the room they had not checked its condition. Everyone had gone home for the day and when I opened the door and found out what was inside there was no-one there to help me. German wasps have a reputation for being among the most vicious and territorial and by leaving the window open for the six months it lay vacant they had allowed not one, not two, but three wasps nests to colonize my room. I have never been frightened by inspects but even this prospect terrified me.

Alone and with no-where else to go I had to conquer my fears and deal with the situation. Fortunately it was early in the season so the nests did not contain many inhabitants. But being trapped with one wasp would have been one too many. I bravely cupped a nest hanging from the ceiling in a large jar and with card over the top I sealed the wasps inside and left them on the balcony. But sadly the other two nests were inside the wooden walls and there was nothing I could do about them all weekend. Eventually I got the studio to give me some silicone glue so I could seal them inside, but those first few nights lying in my bed with wasps buzzing all around were horrible and I will never forget them. I wrote this poem based on my experiences and made the panels to accompany it.

I have always loved Grimm's fairy tales and felt rather like I was participating in some sort of unreal fantasy. So I designed the glass with a pattern framing the image to make them look like old story books do. The poem is also a little like a nursery rythme and I wanted the images to match this childlike feel. They are quite crisp and clear like a graphic novel or comic strip so it feels like you are being told a story. Together the 5 acid etched and painted images tell the tale of my stay, my fear of the wasps and their eventual demise. I used mostly red, white and black with a touch of yellow. Yellow and black is obviously reminiscent of wasps but the red and black together make us think of warnings and danger and pain. It creates a suspenseful effect as you read through all the panels.

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