For the past two decades I have been immersed in the quilting tradition and wanted to use the Women’s Art Institute experience to push beyond the history, structure, rules, and confines of the quilt. During the Women’s Art Institute, I realized that art and creativity has always encircled me because I come from a family of makers. I grew up surrounded by a welders, crocheters, sewers, knitters, gardeners, mechanics, and tinkers. The spirit of curiosity and desire to create is in me. Here I was trying to push myself to try to create art that went beyond the quilt and found myself reflecting on my past; I realized my past is part of who I am. The Spine is a series of art that reflects on my past but opens up a new form for my textile art.
The Spine Series
When I was young, my father would come home at the end of day and open his coin purse and give me his excess pennies. Looking back, I think this was my father’s way of expressing his love. As I get older, my parents’ shortcomings matter less and less. Perhaps this is forgiveness or simply wisdom as I age. Raining Pennies is a sculpture that incorporates a found metal gate, dyed cotton fabric, a mirror and many, many pennies. Raining Pennies invites the viewer to gaze, pause, and reflect on your origin story.
Venus is the goddess of love, sex, and fertility. With fertility comes babies and babies bring laundry. I designed and created the five clothespin bags as an ode to the women in my past. Their fertility and unpaid work has not gone unnoticed. This installation celebrates and elevates their domestic work. Unlike a quilt that expects to be used for warmth, Venus is to be viewed from a respectable distance. Venus is mysterious and sacred, I do not expect nor do I invite the viewer to touch or penetrate the art. The mysteriously lit items are artifacts from my mothers and grandmother’s creative endeavors in their domestic spaces.