Acts of Contrition
As a domestic documenter, the fertile home and its objects are the starting point for my work. In the seemingly predictable lab, I contemplate the cycle of wife-mother-elder and release the all-too-predictable visual constraints of domestic life through meditative, process-based pieces. I long to reclaim these stages as important through sanctification of remnants. Repetitive gestures are evident in washing, stitching and folding as they are interrupted by more modern forms.
I choose to literally suspend the prison of sentiment and nostalgia that is often paired with the domestic, yet also traverse a generational shift towards an art practice that embraces and honors modern technologies. The digital needle threads the past, honors the tenacity of my foremothers and greets a new generation. Quilts reference a time that has become neglected in our age of immediacy. In Acts of Contrition, the water element is the carrier of regrets and abandoned dreams, the little deaths. Potato starch paper floats and is then absorbed into lakes, rivers, streams and Gulfs. This work asks what occurs when water is fabric, emotion is pattern and memory is thread. Log Cabin, Double Wedding Ring and Windblown are chosen for their traditional quilt meanings: home/hearth, relationships, and the aerial view, as well as their relationship to feminine domestic cycles.
As an Elder, I embrace the lineage I received as a young child. I was deeply engaged as one of my father’s caregivers until he died when I was 6. The tasks at hand were beyond my years, yet gifted me with an acute and fearless interest in the cycles of life. I choose not to discriminate between my time spent as a Peri Natal Loss Doula or time in the studio. Translating experiences gives these cycles a visual form with the intention of transcending the personal. This is the heart of my object making.
© Enee Abelman