Textiles are ubiquitous. They are a part of everyone’s daily life from birth to death. Because of their connection to women, the decorative, the everyday, and the domestic they have been undervalued in the histories of art culture. In Western art they have been situated on the outer edge, somewhere between art and craft. Textiles are imbued with social and personal histories that can directly speak to the politics of art and categorical other-ing.
In my practice there is often a personal narrative associated with the fabrics I select, manipulate, and recontextualize as I consider the codes, meaning, or significance in each selection. I choose them because they contain a specific history or set of meanings and place them in different contexts to shift the meanings.
There is a history of artists employing traditionally feminine crafts such as crochet, knitting, and quilting to challenge gender roles and assumptions around cultural values of materials. I use textiles as a tool for critique. My current investigation, crossing lines, substitutes everyday fabrics for canvas as a direct subversion of the canon of Western art history that is dominated by "the privileged white male genius."
I borrow and reference the canon of modernist art and recreate both two-dimensional surfaces and objects in space to focus attention on the work of invisible, excluded artists. I choose handmade or commercial fabrics and utilize thread, dye, tailor’s chalk, and pencil to hand stitch, machine stitch, or draw on the cloth. I position the work on the same level as the modernist male "masters" to juxtapose those known with the unknown. I do this as an act of insistent inclusion, focusing on the artists relegated to the outside.