My artwork centers on understanding how social traditions affect social and civil rights. Historically, I believe embroidery's limited, personal narratives and representation have contributed to restricted and adverse identity politics. I want to raise awareness as to how this cultural practice has silently, but powerfully influenced the condition of people's parity, representation, and treatment.
Ubiquitous in all cultures, the medium of embroidery contains its own patriarchal or submissive history. My threaded artworks aim to elevate the concept of craft to high-end fine art, a feminist empowerment source, and a tool for diverse expression in what I call boomerang intersectionalism. Boomerang intersectionalism starts with feminism’s tenant of“the personal is political” and removes the personal from a topic/subject, so the viewer can focus on and consider the object that was initially made personal. This way more people can access, assert, and share their own personal experiences and identity on the topic/subject at hand. The artwork then becomes more inclusive and accessible to a wider audience as opposed to artwork that promotes a single narrative. In effect, the artwork, able to support and accept multiple, simultaneous narratives, then returns to but widens the concept ofthe “personal is political.” I believe this artistic and intellectual approachto form and subject is imperative to supporting today’s fourth wave offeminism. Boomerang intersectionalism helps viewer’s to understand the medium'spower and influence over identity politics, the body and health, semiotics,education, consumerism, capitalism, etc. It provides a platform that supportsmultiple narratives, which incites attention to the various solutions toequality and justice each one individually requires.
I want to push the boundaries of traditionalembroidery by combining the stitching process with observational paintingtechniques and color theory while restricting myself to a gridded system. I do not map, sketch, or use computer programing to create myartworks. I work exclusively by sight (except for lettering in order to avoidlint damage and spacing errors, which saves time). I believe these limitations presents asignificant process challenge compared to other thread applications, but thisis on purpose in order to elevate embroidery and cross-stitch into the realm ofhigh-end fine art.
In my practice, I also seek to democratizeembroidery, make it more widely accessible, and an intersectional platform fordiverse expression, subjects, and narratives. I believe this way it can be aunique platform for education, empathy, and listening. My goal is to modernizetime-honored rituals so that they support and represent modern lifestyles,values, and feminist goals. I hope modernizing certain rituals and customs willalso inspire activism and empowerment in its viewers. By exploring historicallyrepressive social folk art, traditions and rituals, my artwork endeavors tograduate it beyond its domestic stereotypes, limited narratives, andexclusionary practices. It aims to examine the nature of our customs, theiraffect, and create a productive conversation surrounding identity politics andthe hidden social influences that hold society back.