Born 1985 Mountain View, North Carolina
I am motivated by a contradiction that exists within my family and the small town I was raised, where otherness and uncertainty in local lore are embraced, yet, otherness in people– namely expressions of mental illness and trauma– is met with resistance and denial.
“I create elaborately sewn textiles of ambiguous non-human figures which speak to the audience through audio or sewn messages to make fear, anxiety, and uncertainty approachable. I think of my work as mental illness avatars that take the form of friendly doomsday creatures to be a physical manifestation of uncertainty. I want to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere with the unknown to settle feelings of avoidance and denial in future experiences with uncertainty.
I use plushy textures of quilted textiles and manipulated fabrics to create an intuitive, comforting feeling for my avatars. This work is an attempt to soothe the uncomfortable and make ambiguity welcoming. These forms are influenced by depictions of otherness, from H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional tales of Cthulhu and ghost and alien abduction stories to actual reports of hallucinatory experiences. By mimicking a supernatural-like encounter, I reflect the unknowable and the ambiguity within ourselves.
Accessibility and inclusivity are integral elements of my work. I create multi-sensory experiences and allow touch to resonate with viewers. Through textiles, my work has developed its tactile language of comfort and safety by using enticing textures to rekindle memories of stuffed animals and heirloom quilts.
My work is inspired by growing up in a rural mountain community. I am motivated by a contradiction that exists within my family and the small town I was raised, where otherness and uncertainty in local lore are embraced, yet, otherness in people– namely expressions of mental illness and trauma– is met with resistance and denial.”