Imagination captured by weaving
I’ve always been drawn to textiles, most specifically clothing because of the stories told through the uniforms we create for ourselves. Clothing is so powerful – the inspiration behind it, the chosen fiber, the production process, the story of the person whose hands make the garment, the functionality of the piece. That’s what drew me to study fashion, but by the end of my first year in university I was already bummed out on where we’ve taken the industry and trying to find a way to be involved more holistically.
I spent the next few years working every avenue of the industry to try and figure out what I could stand behind. I worked as a shop girl, a graphic designer, sales rep, a visual merchandiser, a women’s buyer, a visual display artist – all for incredible companies that I admired, but nothing fit. Burnt out and disappointed, I decided to let go and start focusing on what felt life giving to me. During this time I met a super down to earth and wildly talented artist in a class at the Textile Arts Center who encouraged me to get involved in their community. I started to intern for them, learned how to weave and stayed on to apprentice and work for their in house weaving consultant and designer – Isa Rodrigues. Isa is a no-nonsense, yet imaginative and playful artist and she gave me the foundation I needed to get started. She told me when I messed up, to start over and make the piece again, and in time she told me to stop asking questions and to trust my own aesthetic. It was in that friendship/mentorship and the TAC community as a whole that I found what I was looking for – a supportive group of people living and working out their callings in an authentic way.
Looking back I realize that learning how to weave coincided with a time in my life that I was ready to go deeper, to look at the truth and let go of what wasn’t serving me. I spent much of the first half of my life anticipating and adapting to the expectations of those around me. That created so many emotional, creative and spiritual blocks that I needed to address and weaving afforded me the space, movement and time to do so. The meditative action of throwing the shuttle back and forth forced me to slow down, to settle into my body and to process emotions in a safe environment. I was the one setting the speed, taking breaks when I needed to, pushing myself to sit a bit longer and do the work when I felt I could. I learned to trust myself and the process, that this work – both weaving and a life well lived – take time.
The work within the sphere of contemporary art
My work is an exploration of personal narrative— how the choices we make, those made for us, and naturally occurring outside forces are woven together to create the cloth that is our lives. I believe that once we engage in our entire story— most specifically the things we keep most secret— we are able to discover who it is we were made to be and thereby our purpose. The quest for meaning and beauty in the midst of suffering and trauma is what propels me forward in my work. Lately, I’ve been focusing more on the concept of hope — which feels so powerful and reflective of the healing and grace I’ve been so freely given over the past few years.
Through the use of natural fibers— namely linen, I aim to create a sense of true grounded peace and order that’s not only to be looked at and admired— but adorned on the body and worn as a shield against the unseen battles going on around us day in and day out. My work aims to serve as a reminder and an invitation to engage in our stories, to search for and live out of our purpose, and to always clothe ourselves in truth before heading out the door.
My work is a utilitarian reminder that there remains beauty in the fallen world therefore a golden thread is woven into each piece.
I believe we have the choice to look for, be grateful for and incorporate beauty into our sacred ordinary days.
We are already saved but not yet finished— and while we are living in the tension of the in-between— it is vital to interact with and create beauty each day.
advice for an aspiring artists
Slow down and be nice to yourself. Get quiet and listen to what it is that calls to you in the depths of your heart and go after it with a spirit of curiosity and quiet confidence. Get involved in a welcoming creative community. Take a class locally, go to a craft school, make things in a community where other people can see you, talk to you and appreciate what you make. It’s intimidating to be vulnerable and make art in front of people, but soon you’ll realize that our stories, our intentions, our gifts are all so incredibly different and each piece has its own purpose in the world— and that’s to be respected.
I believe we’re given dreams and desires because we are supposed to pursue them. We have a responsibility to develop the person we were created to be and to have respect for the way we were made.
There will always be outside forces speaking lies to you— it’s too late to start now, you should stay home, who do you think you are? Those lies can be paralyzing, and until you realize that lies have no actual authority over you— they will try to keep you from your calling.
Take each day as it comes and spent quiet time in the mornings to prepare yourself to combat these lies we’re told all day long. My quiet times usually include reading the Bible, prayer and journaling. Wake up early and get outside before the rest of the world is awake and making noise. Meet the day with wonder and gratitude for new mercy and another day to be a human being and stop putting so much pressure on the ‘doing’. I can promise you that this time will be so well spent and that it will be a life giving catalyst for your art work and your entire day, really. I do believe that how we spend our days, we spend our lives.