44 '' x 30 ''
This tapestry was recently featured in a museum exhibition entitled 'Keeping Busy' at Historic Northampton, in which five artists were asked to respond to Henrietta Lambie's mourning quilt from 1884.
"The Topography of Bound Grief" interrogates restrictions imposed on women in the 19th Century and in the present, and how their expression has been controlled even in the intimacy of loss within the context of pregnancy and birth. Where Ms. Lambie’s quilt was the channel through which she could express the joy and light from her brief relationships with her lost children that society didn’t want her to show, I made a piece in response that represents the mourning I was forbidden, because my own rape and abortion were forced to be kept secret. When our emotions are beaten in to submission and buried alive, they don’t die, but can come forth in wilder, uglier ways like this dark, woven mass.
This piece is made from an abundance of materials that were deemed traditionally acceptable for women in mourning during the Victorian Era including: crepe paper, ribbon, veil netting, jet beads, silk, satin, lace, yarn, wool, and even human hair.