Hello, I’m Jocelyn, the creator of The Thread of Everything. I work from my studio in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley in the Lake District.
The name was inspired by one of my favourite books, The Theory of Everything: a biography about the life of the late Stephen Hawking; a story of a brilliant mind captured in a frail and failing body; a story of hope. Woven throughout is the human spirit’s enduring need to communicate in whatever way possible and a lesson for us all that we should never give up trying to live a full life, no matter what challenges we face.
The Thread of Everything represents the common thread that unites us: language in all its forms, whether spoken, written or drawn. I am a logophile, a lover of language. As a child, you would find me in the corner of a room with my head in a book. As a teenager, I was happiest in the second-hand bookshop to be found in my hometown, which also happened to be Shakespeare’s birthplace. To this day, the distinctive heady scent of old spines with their smoky, earthy notes can transport me back there and once again I’m a teenager dreaming of growing up and becoming a librarian.
Decades later it’s still a dream. Whilst that one didn’t come true, a different one replaced it - a family of my own.
As any parent will tell you, if we stop and listen, our children have as much to teach us as we do them. I have been fortunate to learn many lessons from my children. In particular, these are the ones that, unknown to me at the time, would lead me to create The Thread of Everything:
- Associating words with signs, symbols and colours, is necessary for some of us to unlock and access the world of language.
- Many of the words we use today have ancient origins, rooted in the world of the Ancient Greeks, a world in which the tragedian Aeschylus said ‘the words of truth are simple’.
- Not all language is spoken, paintings and drawings speak to us too. Our children’s artwork is priceless. Keep it. Long after they have grown and flown, it will make your heart sing.
In combination, these lessons give meaning to my work, to the power of unifying words and colour. The way we use language to communicate inspires each unique piece, the essence of which is to choose your words wisely.
Each piece is one of a kind.
Longstitch is hand sewn across the ageing pages of a vintage storybook from the early 20th century, creating lines of thread to obscure the text, revealing a “found” word or aphorism.
Contemporary work is now being created alongside the vintage pages. Using heavy watercolour paper and words taken from the natural world, its landscape and language, into which a 'found' quote is placed, currently with a focus on the Lakeland Poets. These are handsewn in longstitch in the same way as my vintage work and allow me to explore themes close to my heart and the landscape in which I live.
My art simply says less and means more.