Our world goes to pieces; we have to rebuild our world. - Anni Albers
My work is a constant exercise in rending and repairing, in making, unmaking, and remaking. I am fascinated by the idea of being the author of our own destruction. What does it mean to make something beautiful and then destroy it? How do we reckon with the pieces that remain?
I approach my studio as a laboratory- a place to ask questions and seek answers, knowing full well that through my experiments I am likely to end up with more questions than answers. At the bedrock of my practice is a deeply essential sense of curiosity. What happens if I sew fabric to cardboard? If I treat paper like fabric? If the seams are all that remain? This endless questioning is the thread that runs through my life and work. I am interested in the moment when minds are changed, convictions are abandoned, and the world tilts toward nuance.
My practice is rooted in craft, in honoring the inherent qualities of a material and endeavoring to make something well. After five years in the creative desert, it was through the arduous process of hand-welting a pair of leather shoes that I found my way back to my artist self. Through the slow and meditative process of hand quilting, I began once again to remember why I make. I resist, wholeheartedly, the hierarchy that prioritizes intellectual knowledge over the tacit- our hands know so much more than our brains.
My most recent work combines fabric, paper, and unusual materials through traditional textile techniques such as piecing, quilting, smocking, and basketry. Guided by Anni Albers’ notion that any material is worth making art with, I am interested in using unpretentious materials in new ways to subvert what is known or expected. Cardboard, newspapers, tinsel, and tape are as much at home in my work as designer silk scarves and supple leather. I am intrigued by opposites interacting—chaos/order, cheap/expensive, geometric/organic—and by the joy and shame that the materialistic exuberance of fashion inspires in me as a feminist woman amidst a longstanding patriarchy. By using unexpected materials I hope to entice my audience into that same space of curiosity- into the realm where convictions are challenged and minds can be changed.
Textiles have a rich relationship to women’s lived experiences. My own experience as a maker began in front of a sewing machine, watching my mother’s skilled hands guide cloth through the needle’s path. There is a subtle violence to the act of sewing- of cutting, piercing, and suturing back together; there is a psychic violence to growing up- to realizing there is no right and wrong, no good or bad- only confusion. By deconstructing the beautiful and lovingly crafted objects that I spend hours making, I force myself to resist the comforting illusion of certainty. Nothing we make is sacred. Everything is sacred. I find peace at the point of contradiction, of unknowing. When we accept that we don’t know, we can begin to rebuild our world.