My love of nature began when I was a little girl. Walks through Bute Park in Cardiff, summers spent in my grandmother’s garden, nature books and an affinity with science inspired a love of flowers, birds, wild life, seasons and the earth itself.
I remember creating illustrations of birds of prey in primary school, focusing on their amazing talons, and diagrams about climate change. In high school I did the Duke of Edinburgh Award. We went camping and navigated using maps. It was my first experience of sleeping under the stars and out in nature.
It wasn’t until I studied fashion and textiles fulltime by doing a BTEC National Diploma that I felt able to fully express my love of nature, and by then it had become a kind of personal faith expressing the divine. I hand printed birds, embroidered leaves, quilted flowers, and reveled in having the time and the resources to focus on this aspect of living.
I was a young woman then and as I’ve matured there have been many occasions when I have perceived the same divine quality in the natural world, yet capturing it has proven more and more difficult.
I was in hospital roughly a year ago, and in the hospital garden I found a pink rose growing in the middle of winter. It gave me hope and strength when I felt weak and uncertain. I drew a sketch in felt tip, hoping not to forget it. I would sit and watch the birds that visited the garden and pick up rubbish from the bushes, so that they would have a clean environment.
My love of the natural world feels overwhelming at times. I feel unable to capture nature in the way that I used to, but it’s always there, supporting me. Everyone has the opportunity to have a relationship with nature and I would encourage it.