I'm proud to announce that I worked my butt off this summer on two pieces for a collaborative mixed-media show that will be opening on Thursday, September 3rd at the Arthur J. Morris Library at the University of Virginia Law School, starting at 5pm! Super exciting stuff. The title of the show is "Discarded" because discarded Law Library books were used by all the participating artists to make their pieces.
The two pieces I made, "Laden Chime" and "Bedtime Reading/Rest Assured" were completely hand-embroidered, hand sewn and assembled. Here's my artist's statement for the show:
Hand-embroidery has been my primary visual arts medium for a few years now, but these pieces were immediately headed in a much more political direction than is usual for my artwork; I tend toward anecdotal storytelling, reverence toward nature and the life cycle, and human thought processes and explorations. Then again – all of these themes can be found in the crime cases I found myself pouring over to create these pieces. I think I was immediately drawn to the heaviness and humanness of the literature we’d be working with because of such relatable themes.
Even though, on a basic level, all of the collaborating artists in this show had the challenge of creating aesthetic artworks out of ugliness, one of my missions in putting together these pieces was to illustrate the inseparable nature of beauty and sorrow. I wanted to truly explore that symbiotic relationship because it is something that I never lose sight of. Life is about perspective and perspective is gained through drawing comparisons. As awful as sadness feels, it allows us to feel its opposite, and I respect that.
Lastly, I wanted to draw focus to the human experience of going about daily life always aware of the extent to which our species is willing to be thoughtless, selfish, destructive and abusive. It is a feeling, as we age, that we grow accustomed to and deal with - regardless of whether hearing and reading that these fellow human beings have been caught produces anxiety in us, or relief.
Process shots for "Laden Chime":
Process shots for "Bedtime Reading/Rest Assured":