Scabs & Stitches
This series of paintings began many years ago in an effort to understand the nuances of forming an identity. Although much of my life has been privileged, I have witnessed certain challenges to who I want to be. These challenges in many ways attempt to prohibit or censor, however, none have been successful. In these paintings I explore the way that when part of one’s identity is challenged, often that aspect becomes stronger or more expressive.
When creating these works, I intentionally spent hours of planning and preparation in contrast to the short period spent painting. In these formative pre-painting hours, I first wrote statements, stories, and poems related to my own experience. Once complete, I then asked a male reader to underline only the words that he felt should be used in my work. This step encouraged some elements of censorship or created the masculine ideal that I could face. I then embroidered the underlined text on the background of each canvas, forming a sort of textural scab.
These scabs and stitches remind me of the similar experience of individuals who face a challenge to their identity for one reason or another. Although these scabs and stitches remain, they become lost or disguised by the final success of individual expression. That is why on each of these canvases I have painted bold, expressive, colorful portraits of different women in my life. Hopefully these works can remind viewers of the resilience of identity and voice within each of us.