My work draws heavily from puppetry, slapstick entertainment, collaborative relationships, gender tropes, horticulture and the fiber arts to disregard or erase perceived hierarchies between performer and object, and amongst historically disparate art forms and social groups. My practice relies on research and storytelling, highlighting quilting as a document of persisting historical violences and forces of resistance. I expand the quilt’s use, beyond warmth and décor to actor and reactor. Quilts are time capsules, opened only by research and a critical lens. I indicate quilting as a technological form directly, and use the form as a tool to reorient dialogue about technologies and the people who develop and deploy them.
At Prairie Ronde, I’ll be working on a buoyant floating quilt (used as a raft) stuffed with milkweed floss, which was foraged in Western Michigan during World War II in order to stuff life vests. I’ll be separating the fluffy floss from the seeds and outer shells, reinventing a lost industrial process from the region. The Lady of the Lake quilt block pattern used in the project serves as inspiration for a character performance based on a woman of this moniker from the Camelot tales. The Lady of the Lake was based on a character widely known across various regions of pagan pre-Christian Europe and existed hundreds of years before European identity existed as a concept. In the familiar King Arthur tales, she is repurposed to legitimize the rule of kings, the rise of monarchy across Europe, and, by extension, imperialism.