I am a genetic quilt. I am a body made of my ancestors’ genetic codes that have been stitched together into me. Those codes helped my body and mind grow, develop, learn, love, laugh, cry, mourn and rejoice. Their genetic quilts have become family mythologies. As my grandparents told me stories about their grandparents, those mythologies become part of my fabric. My mind holds onto those stories, and through time, I cut and patch them back together. They get altered but still help define who that ancestor is and help me understand my genetic make-up.
I started exploring these fabric pieces several years ago. I planned to create a video installation, but the work just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t correct. It wasn’t my fabric, so I started over. I decided to approach this using the artistic tools I know and the visual language I use to create and define my stories. In the end, I created diptych symbols to represent many of the mythologies and fabric pieces of my forebearers based on the stories I remember and know. Each is a quilt of sorts, made from photographic imagery, snapped or scanned, then digitally stitched, printed, and in many instances, embroidered with graphite or ink drawings.
Their genetic codes have helped me to become an intelligent, strong-willed, opinionated, and creative human. Their mythologies have helped me connect with them as people, rejoice in their triumphs, failures, challenges, and lives. They are me. They are why I am an artist.
For my father.
Each Diptych (or how to hang the exhibition)