In early 2004, I had let go of my gallery and coop photo studio and moved to L.A with my husband. I was tired and burnt out from the last 5 years. Trying to figure out how the small idea of sharing a work space had ballooned into a full fledge art gallery.
So there I was in the beautiful surroundings of Southern California felling grounded in the views of the ocean and mountains that surrounded me. By then I knew that I needed a break from the production that photography and wanted to practice something slower and quitter that require me to use my hand instead of a machine.
I can’t remember quite why I chose thread on paper but I did. I loved the solitude of the practice, the tactile nature of making something with my hand and the illustrative results it had. I would wake early in the morning and begin my process, meditating on each piercing I made with my needle. Although this method was deeply calming for me the calm was disrupted by the theme I was working on.
The Theme of gun owners and the right to bear arms in America has been a requiring theme in my work. What I found so perplexing about this “American constitution” was how it divided a nation that was already deeply divide between “good” and “bad” “victim” and “perpetrator” “them” and “us” “sane” and “crazy”. The reality that many Americans did not trust or love each other and believed that an attack on their home, families , selves was emanate and needed to be protected was truly heart breaking.
The right to bear arms is rooted in America’s Second Amendment created to arm militia, help citizens and the revolutionaries to gain freedom for their country - not to help people shoot down animal for game and certainly not for mass murderers.
When I watch documentaries on pro gun rights in America I’m always left saddened that people, some of which have lost love ones by ammunition still cling to their guns and right to bear them. What I see is not only a system that has convinced them that they need their weapon(s) and a culture that perpetuates this idea. But even more insidiuos is strong stench of fear that lies beneath this belief.
There is much that I love about America and its alluring dream of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. As I sat there, in the mid winter haze of Southern California I sewed little pink thread on paper. Trying to make sense of the contradiction of this beautiful country.