|Know when..., Home is..., For Me...|
Artist Statement, March 2011
Needlework of one kind or another has been a part of my life since early childhood: my grandmother taught me to crochet and sew on her treadle machine in the cellar, and a kind neighbor gave me my first pair of knitting needles to ease me through illness when my parents were away on holiday. Since then, my hands have been perpetually engaged with making. Indeed, the collection of afghans, quilts, sweaters and vests stacked in my closets and drawers map my journey through high school (with special permission from teachers and principal), university, graduate and law school; my life as a young mother was charted by caps, booties, mittens, scarves and cardigans.
I have always been fascinated by the fibers, techniques and structures of knitting: Scandinavian stranded color work sweaters in 9th grade history class, intricate Aran pullovers in Philosophy seminars, and complex mohair lace vests in Constitutional Law lectures. So I suppose it was natural enough when – after an extended foray into the three-dimensional world of sock and felted shoes – my work turned sculptural.
“Home is …”, “For me …”, and “Know when …” are three of a series of woven and embroidered signs that respond to the art of sign-making carried out by the homeless. These three signs honor the poetic expression of need of so many on the street, as well as the work of Arts Street Textile Studio (ASTS), whose trademark red house signals the need and desire for safe and secure shelter. Each of these “cardboard signs” consists of hand-woven “cardboard” canvas and embroidered texts executed with materials donated to ASTS for its outreach work in the studio and local shelters and day programs. The texts are taken from extant signs carried by the homeless, and they are mounted on the cardboard they are intended to honor. May they prompt in all of us greater compassion for and action on behalf of our neighbors in need.
2010 Arashi Vessel #1, irRESIST, Some Things Looming, Reading, PA. Kathryn Pannepacker - ccurator
Materiél Witness, Text/Textiles, Some Things Looming, Reading, PA. Kathryn Pannepacker - curator
2009 Materiél Witness, Text/Textiles, da Vinci Gallery (Philagrafika Festival), Philadelphia, PA. Kathryn
Pannepacker – curator
Kamia Lilit (Lillith Amulet), Seyag ha’Torah (Hedge of Roses), Wimpel: Wrapped Wishes!, Philadelphia
Museum of Jewish Art, Philadelphia, PA. Matthew Singer – curator
Leslie Sudock, Fibers