Artist statement

I have difficulty recognising how I feel. I may experience a physical sensation—light on the feet while my heart is beating funny, or throbbing behind the eyes accompanied by hollowness in the torso—but I am unable to translate these perceptions into words.

I want to give my caged emotions shape, so I can see them and hold them.

I start each new piece by taking apart old clothes. The upcycled textiles and the memories they contain, interact with my emotions expressed as needlework, becomes an animal or a girl.

While some emotions are frightening, my art is childlike—made to the size of a cupped hand or a cuddle hold—so they are approachable and invites one to hold and comfort one’s own emotion.


Items of clothing from my past, donated, or foraged form the majority of the materials I use.

At times, I carefully deconstruct from the seams; at times, I rip apart with forceful hands; regardless, time does what it does best, breaking down and fading fabric. And memories.

This process of deconstruction and eventually creation of a new character from the old fabric, re-tells the story that the cloth carries with it.

The unpredictable manner of different textiles originally of different purposes, and at varying stages of wear and tear, inform the personalities of the figures created.


Marn & Otter in her home studio.

Trained in interior design, however ended up working in the apparel business long enough to have attended to everything from customer service, to her favorite roles in design & pattern cutting.

When she finally left her job, her love of textile did not stop. In the beginning, she made dolls—what she thought was scaled down mannequins—but quickly realised it wasn’t the clothes she was interested in.

Her subjects range from human to mermaids, ostrich to tortoise. She tries to capture the characteristics of each, while emphasising the sentience that all share.

When she’s not creating textile art, she would either be glued to a library book, or cooking up a storm of fresh plant foods. She lives in Singapore with her husband and a hundred fabric friends and counting.

Birth place of all the critters big and small.

letters from marn

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