I have always had two main concerns: the limitations of rigid mental categories (subject/object, female/male), and language, or more broadly, communication. It seemed like studying philosophy would be the way to find out about this stuff, so that’s what I did in college, concentrating on the philosophy of language. I wasn’t very good at the academic mode and it was hostile to women. Later I thought I was abandoning philosophy to do creative work but I now consider my art practice to be the performance of philosophy. I started out wanting to stretch language to allow meaning to expand, so that our understanding would be less limited by the rules of language. I made physical texts as a book artist while honing my craft skills: letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, typography, printmaking. At that time digital tools were just beginning to be used for graphics, and I have used them since as a graphic designer.
|Pseudomorphs: Specimen 4|
This series was an experiment in 4 parts. My goal was to create something outside of categories (animal, plant, manufactured). I ended up making a new category of thing, so I had not escaped categories at all.
I pluck messages out of the rushing flow of events and solidify them in my pieces. The messages are general, but most prints are about specific women or specific events. Sometimes I take current memes and relate them to past events. An example is “Nevertheless She Persisted” applied to Ruby Bridges on the steps of William Frantz elementary school in 1960. “Ruby Bridges Persisting” therefore becomes an archetype AND a demonstration of what is at stake politically. Nasty RZY (“Rosie”) works use an image based on a well known “Rosie the Riveter” graphic to express something traditionally problematic in women: anger. I use embroidery as a medium expressing “femininity.” I’ve discovered that I really really like to embroider letters. I love type so much. Also, embroidery turns out to be a lot about stabbing with a sharp object.
|Nevertheless She Persisted, honoring Ruby Bridges, perSISTERS series in the |
Female Power Project