honoring the past

For this work, I am pulled towards my southern roots again - thick summer nights, the muddy Mississippi, the way I used to dress up for Sunday School. I’m pulled towards the powerful and earnest works of the women of Gee’s Bend and vintage hand-embroidered tableware from the 1930s that I’ve collected over the years and which now finds a new home in these pieces. A new dialogue has opened up in this work that honors the women that came before me, the women who stitched little crosses and tiny references to God throughout the fabric they carefully worked on. While I don’t know the women who made these vintage pieces, I can feel them here with me in studio. I can feel their spirituality. Even the way they stitch flowers feels spiritual to me. 

I grew up with a mom who stopped midway through our frequent road trips to “make a visit” to Church.  I spent countless hours in chapels while my parents prayed the rosary. During that time, I found ways to make my own little worlds in those chapels. I found peace in those stained glass windows and marble statues of the Madonna and child and even though I do not practice Catholicism now, I still find solace in the smell and feeling of a chapel.  The reverence and respect and devotion associated with a place like that is so grounding to me. These works draw on my memories of holy places and shrines and altars; these paintings honor the past and our reverence to it.


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