2005 Set up studio full time
Lives and works in West Yorkshire
Blackpool born, Chris's passion for beach-combing has persisted throughout her life leading on to more recent assemblages and artworks using bones and found objects. The beaches of the Yorkshire and Lancashire coasts and the river Thames are vast repositories of source material to be sifted and collated and later transformed into assemblages.
She takes us on a thought-provoking exploration of the discarded, such as bones, oxidized metal, pottery and glass fragments, textiles, old jewellery, shells and eggshells. A fragment of bone can become an icon, a jewel, a miniature landscape, a sculpture or an essay in colour and texture.
Chris is a full-time artist . She makes assemblages and installations but her work also encompasses printmaking, painting, and drawing.
I originally trained as a teacher of English and Drama and was predominantly self-taught as an artist, although I have now had some training in Art. After working in a women's prison with inmates with mental health problems I found that art was a great way to communicate with the women and help to build their self-esteem; then I went on to use art as a primary means of bringing education and hope to different groups of adults and young people.
I left teaching in 2005 to devote myself full time to my own work with assemblage and sculptures and to work in partnership with my husband Paul in the studio and on decorative and trompe l'oeil commissions around the world.
"My work with found objects feels as though it is rooted at a very deep level. The process is very important, powerful, and satisfying."
When foraging for lost objects on the riverbank and seashore I am conscious of their historical connections. Some of the things that I find, particularly bones, demand respect. They need to be celebrated in some way, and the constructions may come to resemble a memorial or reliquary.
I have been collecting in this way for some time now. It all began with found pieces of pottery on a beach. These remnants of people's lives fired my imagination.
My latest body of work (in progress), involves the creation of 'Icons' based on traditional Byzantine and Greek Icons, but using junk combined with gilding etc."
Slowly but surely painting is becoming an integral part of my practice. I am enjoying painting in oils, acrylics and water-colours, especially since our residency in Shetland.