I knit therefore I am, 2012, hand knitted monofilament, performance still


Lou is a late developer. She’s been a maker for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until she was 50 that she began to realise that her skills in knitting and stitch were readily transferable to making art.

Her original intention was to become a doctor, and at 19 she went to Bristol University where she studied Medicine for 2 years. However, at the end of her second year, she failed a resit and was asked to leave. Utterly shocked at the time, she now acknowledges that she was too busy growing up and wasn’t ready for the gruelling rote learning required. She’s conscious though that her years of medical training greatly inform her current art practice.

She worked for the next 10 years as a bookseller, then as a full-time mother. She trained to teach when her son started school and taught part-time at City of Bristol College, where she worked with adults and post-16 students with a range of learning, physical and mental health disabilities.

It was when her son started 6th form that she began to make art. She sees it as a very positive kind of mid-life crisis. Encouraged by one of her tutors on a short Textiles course, she enrolled on an Art Foundation at Bristol School of Art in 2010.

She was hooked. 

Plastic surgery, wearing the unwearable, 2012, plastic shopping bags, stitch, performance still in Cabot Circus shopping centre, Bristol. Photo by Jonny Baker.


She went on to study Drawing and Applied Arts at the University of the West of England, (UWE) in Bristol. She graduated, with First Class Honours, in 2015 and was awarded an Embroiderers’ Guild Scholarship in her final year.

During her degree she continued to teach but in her final year she left teaching to focus on her art. After graduating, she exhibited in London with a collective of her peers, Synecdoche, and then often with them in Bristol until 2020.

In 2019, her 60th year, she started an MA in Fine Art at Bath Spa University (BSU). She graduated with Distinction in 2021. During her MA she was awarded BSU’s Harbutt Fund, for Social Knitwork 2021. For details of her MA research please visit her MA Fine Art research website.

Since then she has been selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022, for The Holburne Open with seam collective and she was awarded a year’s residency at BSU’s Graduate scheme, EMERGE for 2022-23 . She is now part way through her Dreamtime Fellowship 2023-24, a year's residency in a shared studio at Spike Island, Bristol sponsored by Luke Jerram. She has just been accepted onto the New Platform Art Professional Development Programme for 2024-25.

Lou inside Safety net, her interactive installation at 'Refuge: in search of safety' part of Fringe Arts Bath, June 2017.


She has exhibited widely and has been involved in a number of residencies and socially engaged projects in Bristol, Bath, London and further afield. Have a look at her Portfolio, CV and Exhibitions pages. Very aware of the wellbeing benefits of making art, she is interested in art as therapy, for herself but also for others. She volunteered for a couple of years at Southmead hospital with Fresh Arts, facilitating Make your mark art sessions for elderly patients with dementia.  She’s been involved with some research into Arts on Referral, delivering sessions for other patient groups for wellbeing. She also helped to organise a series of exhibitions with Synecdoche in the main hospital atrium from 2016-2018.  

She’s still actively involved in two art collectives, Social Scaffolding and seam collective.

June 2024

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