In my work, I rely on materials with intimate personal histories to illustrate memory’s effect on the body. Using drawing as a method of archiving, I cling to and unwind ephemeral flashbacks and examine dreams. This introspective process allows me to engage in a ritualistic conversation with myself that formalizes the otherwise fleeting notions of shame, care, and intimacy.
I have turned to working with bed linen for its tactility and inherent reference to the body. I emphasize materiality by scabbing and scarring personal items, using these corporeal functions to degrade and mend. To make these soft fissures, I rely entirely on manual techniques like sewing and embroidery that entail breakage – bent needles, snapped thread, and ripped seams document the physical effort exerted in these methods.
Similarly, I am interested in exposing the time-based aspects of these methods while integrating repetition. Transparent notions of place, touch, and thought overlap physically in my work and harmonize on one timeline and surface. By combining different approaches to stitching and drawing, I seek to encapsulate dreams states, anxieties, and touch-sensitive memories.
Though my art is grounded in privacy, formal elements such as continuous lines and pointillism act as entry points for the viewer to embed their own memories into the piece. Currently, I am interested blurring the line between drawing and fiberwork by pushing the limits of the tools I work with.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Erin Armstrong is an artist and educator based in Chicago. Using the human figure as a template, they meditate on the manifestations of yearning in the body while experimenting with metamorphic forms that distort conventions of identity. Their work has been exhibited locally in Chicago, Milwaukee, and abroad in Utrecht, Netherlands.>
© Erin Armstrong