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 of the “personal is political.” I believe this artistic and intellectual approach to form and subject is imperative to supporting today’s fourth wave of feminism. Boomerang intersectionalism helps viewer’s to understand the medium's power and influence over identity politics, the body and health, semiotics, education, consumerism, capitalism, etc. It provides a platform that supports multiple narratives, which incites attention to the various solutions to equality and justice each one individually requires.
I want to push the boundaries of traditional embroidery by combining the stitching process with observational painting techniques and color theory while restricting myself to a gridded system. I do not map, sketch, or use computer programing to create my artworks. I work exclusively by sight (except for lettering in order to avoid lint damage and spacing errors, which saves time). I believe these limitations presents a significant process challenge compared to other thread applications, but this is on purpose in order to elevate embroidery and cross-stitch into the realm of high-end fine art.
In my practice, I also seek to democratize embroidery, make it more widely accessible, and an intersectional platform for diverse expression, subjects, and narratives. I believe this way it can be a unique platform for education, empathy, and listening. My goal is to modernize time-honored rituals so that they support and represent modern lifestyles, values, and feminist goals. I hope modernizing certain rituals and customs will also inspire activism and empowerment in its viewers. By exploring historically repressive social folk art, traditions and rituals, my artwork endeavors to graduate it beyond its domestic stereotypes, limited narratives, and exclusionary practices. It aims to examine the nature of our customs, their affect, and create a productive conversation surrounding identity politics and the hidden social influences that hold society back.