Michaela Wheater



I make art as a way to better understand who I am and what my place is in the world. Recently I have been fascinated by unexpected shifts in my thinking and feeling which have been brought about as a result of life events: I have been trying to make these emotions tangible.

A new experimental series of prints, ’Full Feather’ is shown here. It is a direct response to a 1920’s ostrich feather hat that belonged to my maternal great grandmother and which recently came into my possession. As a working class woman situated in Yorkshire this hat epitomised her Sunday best. These works appear more frivolous than my archive, however, underlying them is a wish to record myself with an artefact that was held dear and passed down through my family. I am the first person to be charged with its safe keeping with no memory of Gran Smith, its original owner, although the hat has been ever present.

I principally work in drawing and print where I am concerned with and passionate about testing the boundaries of the materials I am working with. I work intuitively and enjoy the process of making, the dialogue that comes from working and reworking and the richness of a layered surface that is often a result of honestly showing my ‘working out’. I am curious and have a compelling desire to learn. This lies at the heart of each work I make. I like the accessibility of Kitchen Lithography, a ‘new to me’ process used for the first time in making this series. It’s immediacy and my developing understanding have determined my approach to image making, moving this body of work away from my norm.