These have been made using photocopied family letters and drawings, sometimes  monoprint as well as paint. I made them for our family,  to honour and remember lovely people as well as lovely times.


As a devotee of languages and symbols, I asked my hairdresser Motoko how to write ‘Polly’ in Japanese. She chose as the composite parts of my name the picture symbols for ‘Paw’ ( an animal paw, or ‘walking’ ) and ‘Li’ (home/home town/ roots) I was delighted by this name, which suggested to me two ideas – firstly, exploring my identity, in a metaphorical ‘walking towards’ the ‘ home’ of roots and family history – and conversely, a journey ‘walking outwards’ from home and family life towards an identity as an artist. In the first of the paintings below, completed in October 07, the ‘home’ symbol is writ large, and the ‘walking’ symbol is smaller; the second painting shows the opposite emphasis, so they reflect my dual life as an artist as well as a wife/mother/family member and friend. The third painting shows my son’s name in Japanese.


Whenever I gave workshops in primary schools I was struck by the fearless and experimental way children make art given the right environment. I resolved to rediscover the element of ‘play’ in my work, and started collecting interesting papers of all sorts to use in monoprinting, something I find immensely enjoyable.


Lots of my paintings start with collages which incorprate these monoprints, as well as handprinted passages applied directly on to the canvas using all sorts of relief materials. I can build up layers of paint and glazes on top on the monoprints to give a warm, rich effect which owes as much to happy chance as to planning. Working in this way I enjoy ample scope to include favoured motifs and symbols – I am especially fond of some of the archetypal designs featured in various beads in my collection, and graphics from ancient sources.