Each piece begins with a self portrait image. I recreate the smooth patterns in my skin with porcelain shapes and fill the gaps left by my stretch marks with fiber that mimics the dumpy skin texture. Using common crafting tools such as latch hook mesh, locker hook and weaving needles, cotton yarn and rope, and clay, I create work that tells a story of resilience and healing.
The work is a topographical map of my skin. It explores the physical tension and limits of skin’s resilience, flexibility, and lack thereof, in the widely shared experience of stretch marks. They are a metaphor for the joy, trauma, and strain of motherhood and living during the pandemic. Our skin can stretch, heal, recover from injury, surgery, child-bearing. Yet, it remembers and bears witness to our life's story. The work connects our most vulnerable individual struggles to collective movements of resistance.
Initially this body of art was inspired by my own journey through pregnancy, motherhood, and self acceptance, but has grown to address our collective experience in 2021. Each piece exists in liminal space–somewhere between the unrealistic desire to return to who I was before and a resistance to fully embracing the new, as a new mother, as a pandemic survivor. It is clear our old ways of life are never returning but I struggle to fully embrace our new “normal.”