Sewing stories with patterns

My artwork tells stories of women’s labor, often unseen and untold. Focusing on immigrant Black women doing domestic labor, whose contributions play an integral role in the function of our society. My practice establishes formal and intuitive processes that use interdisciplinary techniques to stitch together intersecting themes with personal narratives.

In this work in-progress it’s always an exciting challenge to create patterns for a fabric portrait. I dedicate significant time to planning out each piece. In the in-progress 1 image, I trace a sketch of the portrait from the foundational fabric on this tracing paper to divide the tonalities of the reference photo into three color fabrics per section; the section being skin, hair, or clothes. This way of establishing a color palette creates consistency across multiple pieces but also has the feeling of continuation to the next piece in a series of works.

In-progress 1

In-progress 2

The most prominent subject in the composition is the most technical. (see in-progress 2) The remainder of the piece will be more intuitive in how I incorporate other recycled materials to construct the environment.

Both my choice of materials and who is referenced in the images constructs a story of resilience, growth, and one’s realization in this human experience.

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