Tuesday, May 01, 2012
"One of the functions of art is to strip us bare, reminding us of the fragility common to every human being across continents and centuries. Often, I will meet someone, and the visible weight of his or her life becomes almost unbearable to me, it rips me open. The objects that I make are an attempt to articulate this feeling.
These are serious times for many people, and this body of work, made during a difficult period in my own narrative, has literally saved my life. The repetitive act of embroidery seems to be made for calming worry... trying to tie things down, sew them in, make them stay. Embroidering with hair possesses its own unique intensity: each barely perceptible stitch is like a rosary bead, marking a tiny but ardent prayer whispered over and over.
I consider the inordinate amount of time invested in each piece as a gift given to the viewer. It often feels as though the cathectic things I make are an act of profound resistance: I give birth to the tactile as I am swallowed by the virtual. I obsess over craft as our world becomes disposable. I wield emotion in its messiness because it's uncool. I work until my hands shake, because the world does not care.
I am banging my head against the wall, but the stain is beautiful."
I couldn't be more delighted with the press that my current show is receiving. The last few years have been some of the most difficult in my life... the physical and emotional conditions were beyond daunting. I am usually pretty hard on myself, always thinking of that (impossible) goal that I was aiming for rather than what I actually achieved, but looking at the show, I am extremely proud that I was able to produce that work.
I have had lots of shows over the years, but this one means more to me than most. To be given the opportunity to have these pieces be seen beyond the few hundred people who might experience them in the gallery is a great gift to me.
That said, what I am really excited about is stretching some velvet and gessoing some paper today for the next pieces, pushing, pushing forward.