Discomforted (in progress)
Discomforted is a series of handmade quilts, photographs and installations exploring the notion of what it means to find comfort in our discomfort. When completed, the discomfort quilts will be hung anonymously in outdoor areas around Vancouver Island. The finder of each quilt can take it home with them.
We are enveloped in a virtual world where people spout contrite memes about “living their best life” as a way to shield themselves from their discomforts. My cynicism towards those posts combined with my own experience in suppressing discomfort led to the creation of these quilts. I’ve sewn and gifted quilts for decades as a way to comfort others during a period of transition or difficulty. For this project, I want to address our discomfort in plain sight while combining it with my quilts as a way remind humanity that feeling discomfort is a normal part of living and addressing discomfort is how we can start to live our authentic life.
My “discomforters” are sewn from discarded fabric cutoffs and recycled duvet covers. They are cut, sewn and tied together with care and thought for the unknown recipient. Tying for me also conveys the idea of remembrance or as a forget-me-knot coming from the idea of tying a string around your finger as a reminder. I think of each of the tied knots on these quilts as reminders of my discomforts and as a way of tying up loose ends and moving forward.
While discomfort can be viewed as negative, it is also recognized that leaning into your emotional discomforts can not only bring about resilience but healing and comfort as well. Sitting, sleeping or wrapping ourselves in our discomfort allows us to come to a point of speaking our truths and living our lives as authentic beings. It forces us to align with our individual values and brings us a sense of confidence and security.
I want to maintain women’s history of giving and comforting through these quilts by offering them freely to recipients. My hope is that the finders/recipients of each of these quilts to look at the quilt and question what discomfort means and have conversations about it. I want people to feel uncomfortable about wrapping themselves in their discomfort and at the same time, I want the quilt to act as a layer of comfort, love, security and healing as the finder wraps themselves with it. I want these quilts to be a comfort on both a physical and emotional level to those who are willing to do the work to speak their individual struggles and truths.