“The ties with strings that will not break, with ends that give, but will not take, they’re’ the links that make us who we are:” Anon
Many of the skills that Thommi Freeman uses in her artwork were learnt as a child. Whilst studying for a degree she has found her knowledge of more traditional skills both useful and exciting but has combined them with newly learnt digital skills.
Her artwork is both autobiographical and considers social history, with a special focus on women. She is particularly interested in developing a practice that not only expresses the role of women but combines skills that have historically been used domestically and mostly undertaken by women. Bringing these skills together gives her a sense of accomplishment and integrity.
Her most recent piece of work ‘Ties that Bind’ by its title determined what material she would use to portray and deliver her message to her audience. Using traditional seafaring techniques of netting she created 10 feet of fishing net. With French knitting she made many coloured ropes in merino wool, these reflecting the colours seen in the waters around the coast of Britain. To show that these people did exist and help bring the piece to life; with the use of a special print technique lazertrans, she printed images other family onto large pebbles, by placing them on the net as if trawled from the bottom of the ocean, their shapes and sizes had been fashioned by the pounding of the waves, and were a metaphor of the hardship they had endured and representative of the peoples personality and character.
This work has been inspired by her family heritage they were mariners and deep sea fishermen. Their strength and courage could not be adequately described and the piece is to provoke thought about her family ties to the sea, the fishermen, the price of fish and the lives it cost.