Coll Br Ammonite 2017 - Joy Norman

Joy Norman

"A deep fascination with fossils and relics..."

  • Joy Norman
  • Joy Norman

Fragmented Memories

I am a mixed-media artist producing framed work, assemblages, vessels and other decorative items from my home in Blaby, Leicestershire.

I have developed my own style of papermaking over thirty years: creating paper from waste-paper pulp or cotton linters and also working with other handmade papers. I then employ many techniques to achieve the desired result, including impressing, inlay, casting, painting and stitching. Combining the diverse qualities of pulps and papers with textile fragments, organic items and found objects, I aim to create delicate and intriguing decorative pieces.

A deep fascination with fossils and relics is apparent in much of my work. I distress and manipulate many of my creations until they appear reminiscent of archaeological finds or ancient treasures. I am also very much inspired by myths and legends and enjoy creating fantasy creatures, fish and other marine life, with scales, spines and trailing tendrils.

The coastline of the English Riviera with its rich geological and archaeological heritage was my inspiration for my first series of ‘Miss Clara Knight’s Curious Collections’. The coastal paths, beaches and rock pools were the perfect setting for Miss Clara Knight and her father to search for strange and curious objects of natural history in the early/mid Victorian era. She is my imaginary creation, but the series does seem to have developed a life of its own…

In ‘Seashore Specimens’, Miss Clara Knight and her father, Professor Godfrey Knight, (an eminent Professor of Archaeology), are staying at the home of relatives: Mr and Mrs Idris Knight and their young son, William. The purpose of their visit is to enable the Professor to investigate and research nearby sites of archaeological interest. When she is not assisting her father, Clara often takes walks along the shoreline searching for wonders of natural 
history and compiling treasured collections of her own.

I have been a regular visitor to this area, and other parts of Devon, for the last thirty years and have collected many interesting 'found objects' to use in my work, such as shells, seaweed, and even a small bag of shingle I scooped up in 1986!

 

Each individual framed piece or assemblage in this series has Clara’s journal-style annotations. In all of these pieces, the main specimen is an object that I have created using handmade paper pulp. Some of these micro-collections also include photos of Clara and her relatives, a selection of her other little finds, genuine fossils, stones etc), and more personal ephemera from her visit, such as antique buttons and lace. I believe I shall be following Miss Clara Knight for quite some time to come, as

she compiles treasured collections from her travels....

I have exhibited my work in many galleries, including The City Gallery, Leicester. The Ferrers Gallery, Staunton Harold, Harding House Gallery, Lincoln and East Midlands Airport.

I am a member of The International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists, the Tesserae Textile Group and the Lutterworth Stitchers.