From Ill-Matched Threads to a Single Cloth

It all began with reorganizing my few studio shelves for easy access to the art tools I use most.  A yellow Kodak slide carousel box on the middle shelf did not qualify.  Opening the lid revealed a round row of slides (upside down and backward) with clear labels (title, artist, medium, size) on the top and bottom of each slide. It took me back.

The first set of slides I looked at, offset from the others by an empty slot at each end, was of a body of work I created called “Trapped Souls”.


I asked women to share with me what contexts, for what reasons, and how they practiced being invisible.  I interviewed each woman in her home where she was most comfortable and during the recorded interviews, I took photographs.


For the show, I placed each woman’s photo inside a camera and added a push button to activate an LED light on the inside. If you looked into the lens and pressed the button, you could see her hiding in there. Each woman’s soul was “trapped” in the camera and by the contexts and beliefs that kept her invisible.


An audio compilation from the interview with each woman played through the headphones for two minutes or less before repeating.

When I set out to do this particular body of work, I used knowledge unrelated to each other at that time: ethnographic practices, interviewing skills (from work), sound equipment and editing skills, electronics soldering, drilling, painting, and, oh yeah, photography skills, to put this installation together.

This reminds me of a quote I read recently from Ranier Maria Rilke:

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads of her life and weaves them gratefully into a single cloth.

Sometimes after the flow of creative energy, life, work, family leaves you and me feeling like we have a bunch of “ill-matched threads.” However, looking back at the ill-matched threads that were woven together into “a single cloth” for this project,  it encourages me, and I hope you too, to continue picking up threads, trusting that some day we will find a use for them in “a single cloth.”


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