"'Walk Softly' is a textile artwork that explores the interconnectedness between garment production and ecological conservation. This piece looks at the importance of the blanket bogs in our ecosystem, specifically the positive impact on water and carbon storage. It also studies our current consumption of fast fashion and its impact on our planet and our societies.
Visually it is a dress, but that is but surface level. When you peel back the layers of face value, you can see the colours of the peatlands represented. At the same time, the dress is similar to an 18th-century Highland garment, so what you are seeing is a visual representation of the peatlands.
The artwork title comes from the leather shoes worn with the garment, drawing inspiration from the phrase 'Walk softly upon this earth." There was a story about a wandering holy man who made his shoes from bits of donated scrap leather that I heard while creating this piece. That story helped me realise that the need for humility and a "Waste not, want not" attitude is ultimately what this artwork conveys."