In my thesis, I explore the experience of existing in a femme body and how different people experience or don't experience embodiment, body consciousness, and body ownership. I start by exploring my own relationship with my body over the years. I struggled with disordered eating throughout my adolescence and felt as if my body belonged to pretty much everyone else before it belonged to me. I was in a losing battle I hadn't even known I signed up for, dedicating almost everything I did to losing weight and occupying as little space as possible. I began to break from the strict expectations I was raised in when I started dedicating myself to art. I began to forge a full identity and life for myself, and my body became a tool that allowed me to create and make art and live that life.
Creating allowed me to take ownership of my body; I honor this in my thesis. I began with the simple joy of creating; I am completely self taught at crocheting and found joy last summer allowing myself to just make- no plan, no concrete outcome- just intuitively creating and seeing what happened. I then used these crocheted shapes for the basis of my textiles, scanning in the shapes and making digital files. I experimented with projecting these shapes back onto a body to see how they interacted with and were distorted by a moving form. I emulated the effect of the projections by lasercutting organza into these shapes and layering and connecting them. The final product is meant to be an installation where the textiles will be hung in the light and viewers can move within the shadows and interact with them theirselves- I captured this deliverable in a photoshoot where I suspended the textile on the surface of the pool and captured images of the shadows created interacting with my body.
I am in progress creating the second part of my thesis, in which I put more emphasis on other female-bodied peoples' experiences existing in their bodies. I began by interviewing different people from my life with a wide range of backgrounds. The interviews took a somewhat conversational approach, expanding on topics as they came up, but explored the questions: most of the time how aware are you of you existing inside of your body? is that awareness generally positive or negative for you? are there extremes? what situations make you especially aware or unaware of existing inside your body? what does body ownership mean to you? what has been your experience been like feeling ownership of your body? I also did figure drawings of my subjects. I hand-wrote copies of each interview which will be screenprinted over my figure drawings and made into a book. I also used these interviews and drawings as a basis for a textile installation I am creating.
I am a textile artist, designer, and psychology student. I take a collage approach to my textile work; I love working with my hands and playing with layering materials with different opacities and textures. I explore topics of body image, mental illness, and relationship dynamics from a firmly feminist point of view. My art and psychology backgrounds inform each other, I often view them as two complimentary approaches to research and express ideas, this process is visible in my work as I start with topics from a personal place and then interview others and figure out how to visually share our stories. I am passionate about ethical and sustainable production and inclusive size ranges and believe the future of fashion involves one of a kind handcrafted pieces.