I am an artist and researcher who questions value and visibility by exploring the intersections of queer theory, posthumanism, utilitarian textile craft, and gender and disability studies. As my most important metaphor, I think with and through bogs as queer spaces that fluctuate between the binaries of land and water. Despite their importance to human and non-human communities, a bog’s slippage between binaries makes them difficult to protect, as water is a public resource and land is a private good. I question why such spaces have historically been devalued as wastes, or nowheres.
I further my investigations with value by using secondhand textiles that are unwanted by their previous owners. These discarded textiles are sourced from the local to the international, to create a convergence of place within materials that echoes the idea of a nowhere. I use these gathered textiles to create large scale rag rugs that fluctuate between the binaries of painting and sculpture, art and craft. These modular rag rugs are fluid, changing form to respond to the sites they are placed in, much like domestic textiles whose meaning changes depending on if they are on a bed or a gallery wall.
Much like bogs, textiles have also been historically disregarded. Their delegation to the realm of gendered labor meant that they, and the labor that went into them, were often invisible. As a queer person, this invisibility is compounded by craft cultures being homogeneous and reliant on national myths of tradition. By using queer theory to reappropriate and reclaim utilitarian textile craft to make non-utilitarian objects, I question why something must be useful in order to exist and why existence is dependent on being visible.