Mantra is a series of botanical sculptures and cross-stitched affirmations, inspired by my experiences with gender-based trauma and healing. Two different colors of growth represent a time in my childhood when I split myself in half in order to stay connected with family and still survive the world outside my home. My healing journey has been one of moving toward reintegration, of embracing the idea that my two selves can coexist and even be friends.
The cross-stich hoop and embroidery thread are a nod to my heritage. I come from a long line of Midwestern farm women who sewed and quilted. I seek to honor parts of them that live on in me while re-contextualizing parts that no longer serve me. The affirmations came out of my EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. These pieces act as sacred, healing meditations while I am designing and sewing them. They are a reimagining of a tool used in the education of my foremothers: the schoolgirl sampler.