Recollection, Age Five
Recollection, Amanda Age six
Lisa, Age 3 1/2
The act of mending has become an important aspect in my work, both in a theoretical and physical sense. John Hayworth states “This is itself amending process by pre-emptying a potentially volatile act” (Hayworth 113). I believe that this statement relates to how I started working with my own text-based art. I began with cutting out visceral statements about my past into vellum, a violent and harsh act in itself. I began to question my voice, and what I was trying to elude and display to a viewer. With that in mind I began seeking out a more informative way to convey my ideas through text, which led me to embroidery. This work is what i would consider to be confessional Art. This text work is my way of injecting my audience into personal aspects and levels of intimacy.
Recollection series is series of text-based, double-sided embroideries with text on white cotton on large-scale white turban cotton panels. These works are based on personal experiences growing up with a drug-addicted mother who came in and out of my life. I’ve embroider phrases that describe events with visceral, raw and violent undertones, allowing the viewers to create a vivid picture in their minds.
The white on white aesthetic choice and the laboured text of this series posed a quiet and reflective tone of the voice, which I believe generates an intimate level of storytelling. The work entitled Recollections Age Five reads, “I watched her head get split open with a rotary phone.” The age is important to the reading of this piece. The work allows the audience to consider what is happening to this five-year-old, and what they are seeing and understanding. It is setting up a dynamic between empathy and understanding within the time frame. I think for me, as the creator of this work, that going back and exploring these events has had a major effect on me. Looking back to these memories and re-negotiating them, allows me to gain a better understanding of what had been occurring around me, as well as allowing me to understand how I was being perceived and treated by others.