A Reflection on my Work & of Myself
Beyond their common functional use, quilts are thought of as documents of history, products of their society, culture, and environment of those who made them. Throughout time quilts have served to preserve the histories of families, sewn into one patch or stitch at a time, and the legacy of the art form passed on from generation to generation. As settlers moved West across the United States, patchwork quilts, created with whatever was available at the time, functioned as both folk-decorative items that carried content and meaning.
My late grandmother carried on this tradition of quilting. She would quilt pieces, mostly small pillows and blankets, for each member of our family which functioned as reflections of ourselves. After she had passed, the tradition of quilting was no longer present in my family and we lost this practice and its insight into our past selves. My recent work attempts to revive this tradition that my grandmother started and integrates this practice with an exploration of my lack of understanding of myself and my past.
With fragmented memories of my upbringing, I feel that as an adult I am patched together, similar to a quilt, created with whatever was available at the time. My sense of self and interactions with others is solely based on fragmented memories. I can no longer remember who I once was, but I am very much trying to understand who I am in the present and my relationships with my loved ones. This examination has provided insight into the guidance I have received and the flaws in my relationships with those I should be closest to.
The eight-pointed star, seen frequently in my work, serves as a symbol of guidance on my search for self-understanding, its significance rooted in settlers using the stars for navigation. For me, these sewing and quilting pattern motifs are used to symbolize the intimate connections, or lack thereof, I have with others as well as the detailed representation of the complexity of my life.