If there ever was a word that evoked thoughts of outdated, old, and grandma, that word is doily. Those little frilly wonders perched on fine solid wood, handmade furniture of old are just the sort of time-intensive frivolities that seem irrelevant in this age of mass-produced, flat-pack, medium-density fiberboard, planned obsolescence consumer goods that pass as home furnishings today. In so many ways, our society is accelerating at an unsustainable pace; our consumer goods are mass-produced and outsourced overseas to be made by nameless, faceless people. Our communication with virtual 'friends' is through cold, glass touchscreens. My work is the antithesis of this, it is about connecting to a material, a community of makers, and making objects by hand in a slow, methodical way. The doily forms I use are echoes of a time past; a not too distant past that is, at the same time, accelerating away from collective memory at warp speed. This slow, meditative process is a remedy to world increasingly comprised of virtual connections, quick transitions, planned obsolescence, and instant gratification.
Over the past fifteen years, I have been fusing fine art and craft to create objects and site-specific installations inspired by everyday artifacts from the domestic sphere. I use the meditative process of crochet where every stitch is evidence of work by hand. Through my work, I explore themes of discomfort and the coping mechanisms used to provide solace from the stress and trauma of modern life. Since 2011, I have been creating large-scale site-specific installations in a series I call "Keeping Up Appearances," which is both anachronistic and antagonistic. This series consists of vibrant red forms nailed and tied to the walls, floor, and ceiling 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 loom menacingly. The doilies represent a certain desire to keep up the appearance of gentility 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 exists behind every well-decorated home and lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.
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