Textiles – Embroidery and Knit

My day job has kept me quite busy over the past few months, but I have been working on some textiles during that time!

One project I have been working on and off, my Home embroideries. I had been attempting to just capture the facade of the places I have lived via embroidery. This way I found myself looking up the apartments I had lived in, and even looking at images of my childhood home in attempts to accurately portray the exteriors. This was not very inspiring and therefore left me ignoring the project for a time. When I began working at it again, I realized that my memories of my homes are almost exclusively interior spaces, which began me working on my current embroidery. This piece is of a place I lived with my now-ex-boyfriend. It was the first time I lived with a guy, and I have a lot of wonderful, terrible, and just soothing memories. The importance of this Home was it was the first place I really felt was MY home after moving out of my parents house. I’ve found that most people have a similar place like this within their own lives, a sort of first home on your own phenomenon. A weird passage into adulthood and your individuality separate from your parents. Below are some images of my progress on this piece so far!

My memory is far from perfect when it comes to exact recreation of the objects, but my main goal is to embody the feeling that that space gave/gives me (more about accuracy of feelings than objects).

Other thoughts on this project:

I really enjoy the domesticity of doilies and I chose them for that reason. I think they just solidly reinforce the idea of a Home, whatever that means for you.

An idea I have been really interested in is individuality, identity, and privacy and how those work together – and with this project I have been thinking a lot about apartments, how you are living and making a home in this temporary space that others have done the same, and what really makes it yours as an individual. I’m still chewing on some thoughts about it, but I am really enjoying the progression of this project.

 

“Gray Area” a knitted list of people I know who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

I started a project that is working very similarly to my “Secrets” knits. I’ve been calling it “Gray Area.” I began this process by reaching out on Facebook/Insta etc. to ask people to like or comment if they have been sexually harassed or assaulted (with less public options for those who need/want). I gathered over 50 names. I then “translated” them into binary code with knit and purl instead of 1 and 0. Then, I began to knit! I am currently about halfway through the names, though I’m sure I will accumulate more before I can finish. I also plan to create this project in two other ways, experiment and see what fits best with what I want the project to do.

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Pardon the terrible quality of this image!

This image is approximately 15 names in. You can see that there is a border that surrounds the actual names section, which is a different texture. This creates a pattern – that technically could be deciphered – of the names, each name supporting each other to create this piece.

I chose gray for the yarn, not only because it is a neutral color, but also because so much sexual harassment and sexual assault is considered a “gray area” – hence the title.

Other thoughts on this project:

The goal is to show the extreme number of people effected by sexual harassment and assault without exposing the victims specifically. These are just people I know (and I’m from a small town, I’m introverted, and I honestly just don’t know that many people), and it is still more than 50 people – that is insane.

Another goal and just general thought about this project is the support. Each name that I knit is reliant on the previous name and the name after them to hold, they are supporting each other through the stitches. Not only that, each name that I knit requires me to think about them, give them my time and energy and I think that gives importance to those people and their experiences and struggles beyond just them being part of the 50+names.

I’m excited to see where both of these projects end up and hopefully I’ll have time to post more regularly about them!

Home

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Beginnings of a piece titled “7119 Carnot” Embroidery thread on doily. 

I was assigned a project in my introductory textiles class in undergrad to create a self – portrait, that didn’t necessarily have to be a “portrait,” using embroidery. Obviously I got a bit introspective and considered who I am, what makes me who I am and how to portray that with some thread. Being a homebody my home is a very important part of who I am, it also can represent where I came from, etc. So, I made an embroidery of my childhood home – it was my first time really embroidering anything so it was a bit of a mess, but I made it. I embroidered on a doily, the most domestic fabric out there. This ended up in a Student Juried Exhibition and then I later gifted it to my grandmother.

Now, recently I have been feeling inclined to create a series illustrating my different Homes. Places I’ve lived, places I feel safe, etc. This is the beginning of this series, basically an improved recreation of that first Home embroidery. I will create one for every place I have felt at home. I have very high expectations for myself and this series and hopefully I will be able not only to live up to those expectations, but also be able to create a coherent statement to accompany them.