Gentility in Waiting (The Ease of it All)

I am an artist who works with fiber in sculptural form. In my current practice, I examine the intersections of aesthetics coming from my own familial history and what an empowering queer aesthetic might look like today. As a maker, I think of ways to allow people to connect to a sense of political agency and community through aesthetic form. My understanding of aesthetics and taste are very personal. I look to my grandmother, who in her time was an extreme personality. She smoked out of an extender, always had a drink in had, wore mismatched colors and patterns, and donned feather boas instead of scarves. She helped me understand that dressing and one’s style serves as a very personal way of asserting agency. When looking at my process, I begin with the interior spaces and domestic objects from my childhood that may appear mundane but for me have always held a sense of poetics and beauty within them. I am interested in ways objects can be just as influential as people in one’s coming of age. I draw or sketch as a way to remember and re-imagine these objects as fabulous and living up to their full potential. Moving into making sculptures, I use materials that represent my grandmother’s sense of flair and what some might consider her “bad” taste. I want people to think about the significance of style as part of political mobilization in queer history. I’m interested in camp aesthetics as a form of play that distorts traditional norms of appearance. My work mimics spaces and objects that are traditionally associated with certain gender norms and class, in order to create a new sense of opulence and whimsy. By doing this, I embrace the aesthetics that have empowered me in my queer youth. I want viewers—especially young viewers—to feel empowered. I was drawn to and identified with certain objects: flamboyant ones, feminine ones. If viewers see my objects and are drawn to them, I want the viewer to feel affirmed in their desires or fantasies. There is no shame in this.

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