Welcome to my website,
I am Paula de Santis Smith a Textile Artist based in Cambridge
The work that you will see on this website was produced from 2000 until today. I also have a second website which contains my more commercial textile products: www.desantisdesigns.co.uk
I am an Artist, Feminist and Environmentalist; my early work is about the de-construction and re construction of power garments which represent institutional identity. I work with found objects and recyclable materials. It was labour intensive and time consuming to re-construct three police uniforms. They are heavily embellished, cumbersome, awkward and they relate to each other with dangerous consequences. The embellishment uses pins, magnets & swarf making highly decorative, armoured pieces, which have transformed the coats into sculptures.
From 2010, my work explored a different aspect of power, the powerlessness of having been diagnosed with M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue. During this intense period, the concepts behind my work developed into a very different context. My obsession for repeated pattern and reparative processes became part of my everyday practise. It has given me a sense of productivity, familiarity and provided a safe haven for my thoughts. This work has helped me through the most difficult period of my creative development. It records some of my experiences during the illness and helped me cope with it. Since recovering, my work focuses on the changing demographics of Britain, how we look after the environment and sustain our current life style. In particular the growing population and its impact on our planet. I am also exploring my own ancestry & DNA, looking at what migration means to me.