Methods of Working: Sharon Hall Shipp

As part of each Group Gathering project the artists involved are invited to reflect upon, and share, their thoughts and working processes. Here is one such reflection from Sharon Hall Shipp whilst working on her Daphne's Glove piece in 2015.

"There are so many great things about this project. Working in connection with different artists and getting glimpses of how their work is developing is something that I'm sure we all miss when we are mainly working alone. Having a project simmering away (metaphorically and literally!) when there are the usual hiatuses about other work is a Good Thing. My work often focusses on the slight and ephemeral traces we leave behind in our everyday lives. It frequently starts off as auto/biographical but then quickly becomes much more general and abstract. I was an archaeologist so that's the approach I use, looking for evidence. I haven't really kept a sketch book since art school, but I do jot down research and ideas and spend a lot of time thinking, particularly about process. It's important that the materials I choose and the methods I use all tie in to the idea, but once that is sorted I'm much more likely just to dive in to experiment and see where things go! I decided early on that I didn't want to make the glove into a personal work about Daphne and, like others have remarked, the glove material seemed quite alien so that was a challenge. I did look for the evidence angle, but it wasn't forthcoming. For the past few years I have used stitching a lot in my work as it seemed the most appropriate process, but I'm not sure I will use it in this piece. Eventually I decided on a theme for the piece which is somewhat of a departure from my usual work. The burying and the simmering of the glove are both symbolic of the piece and the development of my own practice which is coming about through being involved in this project and I am working on how to represent this in how I display the work."