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So Sick of Drowning
ink on paper
17.5 x 23.5 in
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Every culture creates its own standardized definitions of basic things: how a family should be, how women should act, how sexuality should be expressed, and how mental illness is to be controlled. The purpose of my work is to question these definitions.
I do so through media that has been exiled to the realms of womanhood and domesticity: embroidery, cross-stitch, weaving. I use these underestimated practices in non-traditional ways to question traditional stereotypes. Provocative and ambiguous statements, lurid colors, disorienting patterns, and disturbing imagery are constructed using materials that are part of our daily existence: cloth, thread, paper. The integration of these materials in our lives gives the viewer an expectation of what this art should look like. To see these familiar elements united to confront uncomfortable social and psychological issues (child and spousal abuse, dysfunctional relationships, possessive sexuality) creates an unparalleled impact.
I am inspired by the complexity of Slavic folk embroidery and by the simplicity of pixels. My education in graphic design has sensitized me to pattern, structure, and how words interact with imagery. My interest in embroidery began with my mother. Combining these influences and inspirations, my goal is to question the definitions of how things “should be” and assist the viewer in revising and reaffirming their own understandings.