Talicia Lerfald

Human Blood
cardboard box, ink
11 x 14 x 12 in.

The main concern while creating art is the embodiment of imagery, material, and technique. My artwork focuses on the life experiences and cultural influences of being a woman with von Willebrand’s disease. Von Willebrand’s disease (similar to hemophilia) is a genetic blood disorder – my blood lacks the properties that allow the blood to clot quickly. The disease has several implications; profuse nose bleeds, bruising, problems with menstruation, interaction with health care providers, and the direct response of those who witness these implications.

I use a variety of materials and printmaking media to create unique impressions on paper and textiles. Printing on and from textiles is vital to my creative process, which embodies both material and narrative. My work simulates through paint, dye, and printed surface the physical reality and constant presence of my lifetime experience with my disease.

As in the act of printmaking, the application of fabric and pressure to a bleed provides an artificial means of initiating the clotting of the blood. Fabric documents the time, shape, and seriousness of the bleed. I have experienced many incidents where my relatives or I have had a severe episode of bleeding. The visual imagery and process associated with using fabric to stop bleeds through pressure of blotting is ingrained in my art and me. My disease has given me a unique perspective of the human body and consequences when it does not have the ability to function properly.

© Talicia Lerfald