How do you hold space, hold a memory, hold a hand? How do we record feelings, histories, and identities? These collages explore the nature of mediation, abstraction, and repetition in creating and re-creating oneself. I call on the traditions of quilt piecing, in which larger wholes are divided and re-assembled, along with the sense of a kaleidoscope, which divides, layers, and reflects portions of a scene in a new, ever-changing composition. Bringing both techniques together, I use repetition to both emphasize and disguise my experience from the viewer. The predominant repeating form is of hands, which are traced from photographs of my own or my children’s hands. Using watercolor, colored pencil, and cut paper, I layer flat silhouettes and textured details to build a tapestry collaged on panel.
Much of the material is sourced from photographs I take of myself in moments when I feel overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, or grieving. I translate these photographs into watercolor drawings, which are then cut into various silhouetted hand shapes, along with corresponding shapes of colored paper. By disassembling these moments of hardship and re-distributing them, I attempt to both acknowledge and mitigate these intense feelings as a definition of myself. Like a kaleidoscope, I take the flaws I view in myself and refract what is ugly into something beautiful. Like a quilt, I take scraps to tell a larger story. Through translating this imagery into fragmented and repeated hands, which reference touch, responsibility, and agency, I claim and re-build these vulnerable moments.