I’m very excited about some work that I presented in collaboration with Amy Ahlstrom. We exhibited October 2018 at Ampersand International Arts

Amy and I discovered we both had odd comments in our respective guest books from 20 years ago. We decided we’d collaborate, sharing some of our phrases, while both using floral imagery. This comes from both traditional craft themes of floral imagery but also inspired by the happy/sad combo like you find in the Smiths’ music. Happy imagery, paired with sometimes brutal words. We both are interpreting the same phrases, but in our respective styles.

For my part of the series, I collect vintage Hiawatha canvas, which is a very traditional British needlepoint painted canvas brand. On these I’m needlepointing the flowers and the phrases to contrast the oddness of the comments, but leaving the background of the canvas empty, which is an atypical treatment for a needlepoint canvas. I do this because I appreciate the canvas mesh material itself. The raw fiber is beautiful.

This pairing of traditional flower theme, with the sometimes unkind and often unsolicited feedback contrasts the pretty and light hearted needlework with the harshness of the words. An experience similar to how women move thru a world where it is culturally acceptable for strangers to comment upon a woman’s appearance.