Trial by Water
       
     
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Trial by Water
       
     
Trial by Water

48 “ x 40 “

In an era of witch hunting, any imperfection on a woman could be used to condemn her to death. By examining this history of persecution of the female body through tapestry, Kat Howard interrogates her own identity as a survivor of physical and sexual violence. 

The air is a net. The water is a snare. Accused witches were dragged to the nearest body of water, stripped, bound and thrown in to to see if they would sink or float. A witch was believed to have spurned the sacrament of baptism, so the water would reject her body and prevent her from submerging. An innocent woman would sink like a stone; an unfortunate, but necessary cost to weed out the wicked.

This hand woven wall hanging was made with handspun nettle yarn, which represents the net of the sky, and vintage linen gray green thread, which represents the water where witches were 'tried'. It is hanging on a hand-sanded oak dowel, suspended by a piece of deerskin leather.

IMG_7349.jpg
       
     
trial by water.jpg
       
     
IMG_7356.jpg
       
     
IMG_7365.jpg
       
     
IMG_7366.jpg
       
     
IMG_7367.jpg