Motherhood: Snapshots & Sanctuaries

After almost two years of struggling with my new direction after ending The Eclipse Gallery (oh yeah, and having that baby and stuff), I am coming back home not only physically (we just bought a house 30 minutes from where I grew up) but online to Visual Influence — my first art blog which will turn FIVE on December 12th.

One thing I am extremely happy about is that after about two years of creating embroideries as art, I am definitely comfortable that fiber is my medium and always will be. From a museum-quality standpoint, I am most happy with my current series Motherhood: Snapshots & Sanctuaries.

The Sewing Studio (Snapshot), hand embroidery/photography, 8″ x 10″

Twin Caves (Sanctuary), hand embroidery, 14″

The contrast between the dark and often jaded Snapshots and the bright hope and idealism of the Sanctuaries serves as a metaphor for the complicated relationship between mother and child. Snapshots are everyday photos of friends and family, strangers, still lifes, and sometimes myself. Hand-embroidering the surface highlights truisms and contradictions often occurring in the daily lives of moms. The Sanctuaries describe imagined places of escape and solitude. When feeling trapped in my domestic role, I daydream of visiting these utopian and ethereal destinations. It is here that I am able to rediscover my true self that is lost, at times, as I put the needs of my family before my own needs, ambitions, and desires.

This work is about dismantling stereotypes surrounding the terms ‘maker’ and ‘mother’ and questioning what it means to be both. I use hand-embroidery to highlight the struggle of balance that mothers often face — raising issues of identity, domesticity, and societal expectations. Using the slow skill of traditional stitching connects me with mothers/makers of the past who have passed down their knowledge of needlework and motherhood. My method depends heavily on my drawing abilities, as the work is embroidered freehand. My process is highly intuitive and unabashedly feminine – relying on my intuition, subconscious, and emotions to discern the content of the piece, and to guide my hand.

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