|Battery hens (detail)|
It's not the first time I've been inspired with fresh art ideas in the past 18 months, but its the first time for a long while that I immediately upped tools and then didn't fizzle out. As soon as I could lift my head and move from the bed I grabbed fabric, threads and needle on my way to the couch. Then I stayed on the couch for three more days, barely moving as my body worked through the flu's painful, tiring, disgusting symptoms. Whenever I had the energy to have my eyes open and my hands moving I was lying there, taking simple stitches and imagining more complex interpretations to come. Straight lines were the foundation for my feverish journey, inspired by photos of Kantha quilts, and practiced as distraction without direction to ease my social anxiety at a symposium earlier that week.
Four weeks later and several pieces are taking shape, as my embroidery slowly creeps across flat pieced blankets that I see as wall hangings, something like little woolly quilts. Simple, and not-simple, stitches are becoming a vocabulary for telling stories about industrial farming. Here is a V to represent chickens, the shape of a beak or the scratch of their feet. Here is combination of two uneven detached chain stitches pinned into parenthesis by another pair of small stitches- 12 piercings of the cloth by my needle to complete each hoof-print to signify cattle- and thus painstakingly slow.
|Dirty Dairy (detail)|
I know I said I wasn't going to blog anymore, but it seems that was no more likely than me saying I would blog every week. So, yes, here I am again but with a new blog policy of only posting when I have something compelling to share. Right now, my desire that's been building for a month to share this new series is being shaped by a renewed desire for conversation through textile art, with makers like Kathryn Clark. And so I expect I'll be posting again, sooner than later