My work in a gallery won’t offend my pious grandma, not at first. She’ll see soft, pleasant, domestic objects that I’ve idealistically embellished to find comfort in my convoluted faith. In fact, these forms reflect our grandmothers’ hard work, the advantages of store-bought goods they sacrificed for and the hand-stitching they learned as girls.
But these forms are not for our religious grandmas. I love and care for her, but my sewing motions are not for her world. Neither are these sculptures. While I find comfort and humility behind my grandma’s sewing machine, I battle with pride and anger where her religion holds us both down. I have the skills she nurtured, but undervalued ones. I have her place in an infinite cosmology, but it excludes the diversity of my generation. Religion used to calm and ignite me, but now I hopelessly stuff meaning into contrived seams.
These pieces then are for younger bodies who still carry the facial features of our grandmothers, or the tunes of their hymns on our lips. These sculptural works advertise our traditions, just with our own, younger, disillusioned hindsight slapped on like graveyard shift price tags.