In the Brothers Grimm’s tale, Rapunzel was a young girl fighting her way out of a castle that
she knew was not the entirety of her world. Her long hair used to scale the tower is a compelling image of beauty and strength. This archetypal story illustrates the central premise of my work:
to make the undervalued, unseen culture of women’s lives visible.
Growing up, my pink bedroom was my castle where I hid and developed my voice. It was a studio full of projects at different levels of completion; I knit, I sewed, I painted with my make-up. I became deeply engaged with knitting, embroidery, and weaving. From this connection to the traditions of textile arts, I gained an appreciation for the skill, vision and time that this work requires. I was fascinated with the emotions and stories that were woven into the fabric of these projects. It was where I forged my commitment to make visible the hidden stories of girls, including myself, as they grappled with sexism.
In my current work, I use non-traditional materials to create a bridge between past textile traditions and more contemporary approaches. I reclaim the color pink, a beautiful color, which for many is so overused to represent femininity that it has become oppressive. I draw on yarn and fabrics, stain chenille pipe cleaners, and knit or weave plastics. I paint patterns on Dura-Lar and use old diaries as references for the veiled stories that are painted in the work. In my approach, the personal becomes political.