In 2002 I had a major stroke.
Every stroke is different. In my case, I was left seriously impaired physically, with no movement at all down my right side and with a semi-dislocated shoulder. I was also unable to swallow without choking and had distorted vision.
Also, I could not speak. For a while, although I was completely lucid in my head, I could not retrieve the words and I was only able to communicate by gestures… ‘Yes’ …’No…It was immensely lonely and frustrating.
Against expectations, I have made a very good recovery - for which I am profoundly grateful. For several years I couldn’t do any work as an artist. Now, I am exploring visually this experience which has so profoundly affected my life, currently focussing mostly on distortion of vision and loss of language. I am trying to find a visual language to explore the ideas. This is very much ‘work in progress’, and my experience of stroke – which could have been catastrophic - has actually proved to be a source of great creative inspiration.
I work mainly through drawing and through black and white photography, but I use other media as the ideas dictate, and have recently begun to experiment with stitch. Previously my work had been about the enigmatic space between inside and outside - and I find that somehow the work is still about inside and outside.
Wheelchair Clinic - No Way Out - 2
Stroke - Brain Attack - 2
Aphasia - In my head ...2 (detail)
Vision - Stroke Unit - Lamps (detail 5)