My art examines the historical and contemporary roles in society that women are assigned. I bridge the past with the present, fabricating a visual language of images by combining personal experience with global issues that connect us all, regardless of gender. Exploring this through original textiles created using silk screen and incorporating hand drawn images and text onto fabric; using the resulting fabric to create art objects allows the textile to become something larger than a piece of cloth. I am proud to carry on a long tradition of fiber arts from the women in my family, and women throughout the world. Working in textiles, creating quilts, clothing, and more, has been regarded as female work for centuries. Working with textiles to create fine art builds a bridge from women past to present.
My work currently explores chairs as objects. The chair can be a symbol of comfort, enjoyment, and relaxation, it is also can be a badge for complacency and inaction. Using this to address the ways society has been complacent in how it has treated women and the struggle society engages in to create change. By merging my work with this emblem, it explores the parallel of action and inaction of equality. Working with chairs that are found, there is also a connection of the chair’s teleological past, the reason for the chair to be built, and its new life as a work of art. Chairs are also a symbol of the home. The home is also a device used to control women as they are told by society that they have to stay there, raise children, and keep it in order for their partner. Taking a chair out of the home and putting it into different context changes how one interacts with it.
My desire to focus on these themes grew out of my own experience of gender discrimination and abuse. Being told my entire life that my voice is strident, I’m too intimidating, and should change how I take up space in the world has solidified my need to continue to fight against these outside influences telling me to stop speaking out and standing up. The need to share my own experiences are amplified when I see reporting in the news around me about continued restraints being put on women, the injustices in laws being passed, and the removal of recourses locally and internationally. Being able to process these experiences through researching the past and how it has changed to this point, then realizing how far we have yet to go to reach true equality, focuses my energy into shaping art. Making feminist work for me is not a choice, but an imperative, to help shift the social narratives that have been a limiting factor to females all over the world.