I recently updated my artist statement -- that challenge of fitting in every idea you have about your work into about 1000 characters -- a small piece of writing, but one that refines the point of why you're compelled to do what you do.
Or at least kicks your ass in the process.
"Hand stitching isn’t fast work. It’s a quiet skill that feels tenuous, lost in a contemporary context, slipping away like childhood, like domesticity, like safety beneath the weight of something handmade. I sew because I don’t know what it is to not sew, despite the connotation of “minor art” or “women’s work,” and it’s this expectation of what the hand-sewn form is — protective, warm, decorative … the definition of the ideal domestic role — that compels me to push against it. I use abandoned cloth and old skills, relying on the traditional, beautiful handwork I was taught as a girl, then later as a professional seamstress, couching it within the painful, uncomfortable or frightening. My intent is to create thoughtful, arresting work, reliant on layers of narrative within the textile pieces themselves, yet resonating within the lens of history each viewer brings.
This is time-based work.
An act of slicing apart, then piecing oneself back together."
It's a version of the first artist statement I wrote in 2014. Not much has changed. But it still kicks my ass.
I should probably whittle it further.
“My work is loving the world…which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.”
– Mary Oliver
But I'm not a poet.
And although I'm in my head most of the time, I'm not that smart.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”
~ Albert Einstein
But I'm a really good seamstress. And maybe a little mysterious.
I'm shuffling through images, grouping themes to spread on the table as I move forward with this work, honing edges and abrading excess, waiting for the surprises that shouldn't be surprises at all. (Related theme-based posts are Ice. and Fire. and Bone.)
One thing that is a surprise, is that this blog was recently listed in the Top 60 Textile Blogs on the Planet. Yup. This one is #29. Huh. This, despite the description of, "Frequency - about 1 post per month."
Hey, go easy. I'm a busy woman.