The materials I used in this series, cross stitch mesh, fabric, needle and thread, are closely tied to the materials used by women in my family for many generations to creatively pass time or to make functional objects for their children. As a female artist who primarily uses “crafting” materials in my work, I struggle with being categorized as a “fiber artist,” yet I cannot seem to execute ideas without reverting back to these traditionally “feminine” materials, as if my mind has been wired to them.

I grew up surrounded by my great-grandmother’s homemade lace doilies, crocheted slippers, and knit blankets.  I used to play with the homemade Barbie doll clothes my grandmother made for my mom.  As a feminist whose family lineage lacks a strong tie to the feminist movement, my initial reaction was to revolt against these materials, yet it is difficult for me to execute ideas that do not include them.  My hope is to use these materials and saturate them with contemporary ideas so they shed the oppressive ties I have bound to them so they can take on a less restrictive meaning for myself, and also for my daughter.

All photos by Jim Prinz