Claire and Amy create intricate, quirky sculptures of winged creatures from abandoned and reclaimed materials, both organic and manmade. Their fragile figurines often resemble insects, fairies, angels, or hybrids of these. Each creature is mounted in a simple white box frame labelled with a unique name; often containing a short narrative describing their secret activities and mischievous nature, giving the piece a humorous twist. They draw inspiration from the insects they observe in their own surroundings, and the displays in natural history collections. They then fuse this with memories from their imaginative play as young sisters, and ideas from popular mythology and legend.
Claire and Amy imagine their creatures to be members of an unclassified species; the protectors and preservers of common everyday objects, the value of which has diminished in our modern age. They come to life when humans are absent, scurrying through the mundane and unused items people keep but never use. Their work is linked to nostalgia and memory, as the materials they use have had past lives; the man-made items are now without purpose due to changes in social practices and fashion.
The wings symbolise transformation, where new life force is breathed into the items people discard. They believe that their work helps to focus the observer on the beauty of everyday objects and forces them to reconsider the notion that ‘new equals beautiful’, and to make a statement about the throwaway society in which we live.
Claire and Amy combine unusual materials such as skeletal leaves and scraps of plastic. These are obtained as we go through our everyday lives, in the garden or park, on beaches, as we empty our bins. By using personal items they imbue their creatures with their own essence. They use their imagination to manipulate the function of everyday objects; a pen nib becomes a beak; watch cogs, ornate keys and lightbulbs become fragile bodies; fragments of silk scarves become delicate wings. They fuse traditional and contemporary techniques. Conventional stitching and beading is then burned and distressed; welded wire is partly covered in tiny scraps of newspaper. We work together allowing our creatures to evolve in response to the shape and texture of the materials.