The repetition of women’s work so often goes unrecognized. These marks, marks of time and effort made by the passing of a needle, draw my attention.
—Holly Bechiri, editor in chief at cultured.GR
Through my studio practice, I employ craft and the grid to represent gendered labor, another term for caregiving in its various forms. This labor, traditionally performed by women, is underestimated and deprecated in our society, yet it is the backbone of our culture.
“Redwork” gets its name from a special type of red thread developed in Turkey more than 200 years ago. Previously thread wasn’t colorfast. Colors would bleed in the wash, so colored thread couldn’t be used on quilts or garments. With the introduction of a colorfast red thread, quilters and embroiderers could adorn everyday items with color.
The parallels I’ve marked between our natural world and that of women’s work, sewing, weaving, quilting, is the descriptive language. Threads, weave, and linked are all terms used to describe craft, and they are also emplyed to identify the actions performed by soil microbes and their relationship to the roots of trees.