Many consider embroidery to be a lost art, something one’s grandmother did to pass the time. They call it “women’s work” and a craft medium rather than fine art. In the not-so-distant past, young girls were taught embroidery instead of science or math. It should be no surprise that early Suffragettes and later feminist movements used embroidery in their protests. I enjoy playing around with the connotations of the term women's work and challenging the craft boundary line.
I work from photographic scenes I feel compelled to recreate with thread. I like to think I have taken the art of embroidery to something beyond its original decorative intention by creating portraits. The facial expressions, objects and gestures contain narratives yet each viewer encounters a different story. There are playful qualities as well since it is difficult to be precise using a linear strand
of thread. The stitches build up in layers and the process is meditative.
A portrait is created to signify a subject's importance. The time spent creating an image in embroidery is more than that involved in a painting but the embroidery is valued less; a status based on outdated, patriarchal ideas about fine art. I think it is an artist’s job to expose the hidden and instigate conversations that might shift behaviors. I use embroidery as my medium both conceptually and literally and the purpose of my work is to create art historical documentation of my community.