Amy Meissner

Reliquary #1: Accumulation
vintage linens & drapery, wool, cotton, silk & silk organza mesh, found objects
49.25 x 39.5 in.

Hand stitching isn’t fast work. It’s a quiet skill that feels tenuous, lost in a contemporary context, slipping away like childhood, like domesticity, like safety beneath the weight of something handmade. I sew because I don’t know what it is to not sew, despite the connotation of “minor art” or “women’s work,” and it’s this expectation of what the hand-sewn form is — protective, warm, decorative … the definition of the ideal domestic role — that compels me to push against it. I use abandoned cloth and old skills, relying on the traditional, beautiful handwork I was taught as a girl, then later as a professional seamstress, couching it within the painful, uncomfortable or frightening. My intent is to create thoughtful, arresting work, reliant on layers of narrative within the textile pieces themselves, yet resonating within the lens of history each viewer brings.

This is time-based work.

An act of slicing apart, then piecing oneself back together.

© Amy Meissner