Complex Muses


Imagining two Shaker Sisters sewing together at a desk crafted just for that purpose, I pondered a transition from a life of friends, families, and lovers to a closed and sheltered community with dress codes, new rules, unusual rituals, and gender segregation. In response, I ripped vintage photographs, printed the images onto fabric, and sewed the pieces together with luxurious silk thread.

I also painted a fanciful image of the quilt into an antique studio portrait of a couple. Between the couple, a crack or rip appears to have formed.

Complex Muses was a 2022 exhibition of collage-based homages inspired by pieces in the collection of The Art Complex Museum. Curator Todd Bartel invited 12 artists to participate. I chose to respond to a Shaker Sewing Desk.