Defense Date

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Craft/Material Studies

First Advisor

Aaron McIntosh

Second Advisor

Susan Ganch

Third Advisor

A. Blair Clemo

Abstract

The thread running through my work is a constant impulse to rend and repair; to make, unmake, and remake. This repetitive and circular approach allows me to confront the cyclical nature of gendered oppression. What does it mean to make something beautiful and then to dismantle it? How do we reckon with the pieces that remain? By deconstructing the beautiful and lovingly crafted objects that I spend hours making, I recenter “craft” as a verb rather than a noun, forcing myself and my audience to resist the comforting illusion of certainty.

I contextualize my piecework and quilting in a long line of American women who have wielded needle and thread to speak truth to power. Informed by intersectional feminist studies and grounded in the historical tragedy of the witch hunts of the Middle Ages, my research plumbs the confluence of quiltmaking and language, both encoded and overt. I believe that textile crafts, as the media least reified by the fine art establishment, hold a potent ability to confront the capitalist, sexist, and colonialist assumptions propping up the false dichotomy between mind and body, between art and craft, between those who are permitted to speak and those who are silenced.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

5-10-2019

Included in

Fine Arts Commons

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