Empty Vessels
The series Empty Vessels speaks to my complex beginnings as a child relinquished at birth. The foundation of my identity was built on this loss and shame from an era when women had little control over their reproductive lives. Reflecting on these circumstances motivates me to create art that exposes this injustice.
In this work, I use the form of the vessel as a metaphor for the womb, making both soft uterine forms and hardened impenetrable vessels. My intention is to create containers that challenge the limited social narratives around female reproduction. I choose textiles as my medium because of their gendered association with women, and the discarded fabric in my work questions the pervasiveness of long-held social constructs around women’s identity. Their expressive range allows me to explore the depth and complexity of my personal history. As well, the repetitive cutting and stitching references the clinical procedures and medical instruments used to poke, prod and examine women’s bodies. During this labour-intensive work, I think about the persistent effort and vigilance needed to maintain and improve women’s reproductive rights.