This site-specific installation series consists of vibrant red forms nailed and tied to the wall that are actually giant crochet doilies. Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale the forms overtake the viewer and cover the walls. 

The doilies themselves represent a certain desire to keep up the appearance of gentility to the outside world expressed through the arrangement of objects in the domestic setting. Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange. 

This installation series has evolved over time and each expression is a response to the specific space of the installation.

The Yellow Wallpaper is the title of a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that describes the author’s mental illness and the “domestic cure” she is forced to endure where the yellow wallpaper of her bedroom becomes the catalyst for further mental decline. The individual crochet motifs are known as pineapples, and this traditional crochet motif usually represents welcome. Their distortion hints at another meaning and the color yellow has often been described as the color of insanity. I reflect on it often as I grew up in a house painted yellow throughout and the colors of this piece were the colors of my childhood bedroom. During the lockdown of Covid, I have spent months at home undergoing my own seeming “domestic cure” and the unsettled feelings I’ve experienced are reflected in this piece. It is my greatest hope that the mention of Covid and the anxiety of the time in which I made this artwork will seem like a distant memory when the piece is eventually taken down. 

Queen Anne’s Lace is inspired by antique doilies and their purpose to decorate and protect the furnishings in the home. As a woman, decorating my home is an important ritual because it marks the space as mine and provides a place of comfort from the world. I thought about the process of decorating a home and how the reality of what we want the world to think through our decoration is rarely matched by the chaotic reality of family life. That ritual of decoration equally extends to the environment of the garden as the very public face of the home. Queen Anne’s Lace is a nod to traditional white doilies, but on a much larger, pervasive scale and ranging over the outdoor space reminiscent of the way the weed of the same name (or flower, if you see it that way) takes over a field.  

This project began with the pink crochet flowers. Making these flowers became part of my everyday life, and when I had a great quantity of flowers, I sited them in my domestic space and lived with them. I documented the path that resulted as I repeatedly passed through them in the course of an ordinary afternoon. 

In the gallery space, the viewer is confronted with the same flowers and a small video. The technology beckons the viewer to negotiate the handmade- to push it aside or possibly even trample it. The gesture of the viewer repeats my own movement through the flowers, but in a public rather than domestic space. In the process, the viewers’ movements ‘decorate’ the gallery space, creating new pathways and flower configurations. The final phase of this project is the pre- and post- documentation of this space. 

Pink Was My Home existed as an experimental installation of objects, doilies, and sound included as part of my MFA final review. It was on display for only a day and seen by fewer than twenty people. The only part that still exists are the pink doilies.

This is an archive of installations that were planned or proposed, but never realized.