WOMEN’S WORK / WOMEN’S ARMOR, 2018
Women’s armor is different from men's armor. We do not battle in the same way as men, so why would our armor simply be an adaptation of the kind they wear? Women’s work is our armor. It is historically how we have connected with our community of women - through quilting bees and knitting circles and weaving clothe. Our work and our armor are a part of us. We knit and stitch and weave our resistance into us. It is more a part of our soft bodies than an implement that we wear. It is in our minds, in our hearts, in our wombs, in our work. Women’s Armor is soft.
When I started working in metal, I envisioned creating a collection of women's armor (think Wonder Woman) and I started with the chest plate portion of this piece, added the metal structure for the busts and had to set it down for a while. Something didn't feel right. My heart made me stay away. Months later, as we collectively approached the Kavanaugh hearings, as my own body reacted to trauma it triggered, I began to notice my IG feed filling with women making woven wall hangings. Numerous friends, acquaintances, people I didn't even know, were taking classes and weaving for the first time. All of them gushed about how much they had enjoyed the process. It occurred to me then that my notion of women's armor was all wrong. Men clad their bodies in metal to battle their wars. Women clad themselves in an entirely different armor. We knit and stitch and weave our resistance into ourselves - our ideas, our practices, our actions. Our armor is not just an adapted version of men's armor. Our armor is soft, part of our very flesh.
WOMEN’S WORK/WOMEN’S ARMOR was completed in 2018 with the support of a McKnight Foundation Next Step Fund grant through the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and included in “PERMISSION” - solo exhibition at the Finlandia University Gallery in Hancock, Michigan that ran November 30, 2018 - February 15, 2109. This piece was sold to a private collector in 2019.