Monday, June 1, 2009

Simply ME

My identity has always been a bit of a struggle. I've never quite fit into any of the categories. I failed the personality tests. When given two words to describe myself I always answered both. Finally, I took a Facebook quiz that summed up my identity struggle -- "Walking Contradiction!" Perfect! I finally know who I am and can embrace the craziness. I can be the mathematical artist, the feminist who willingly submits to her husband, the homeschooling mom who hates teaching, the logical dreamer. There is nothing wrong with embracing the whole spectrum and no need to simplify myself.

For my quilt, I explored all the words I could use to describe myself. Often I used opposites like both happy and sad, perfect and imperfect, trapped and free. Each of these, I printed on a paint rag and tore apart. I then free motion stitched them onto dyed felt. I used irregular stitches and left the threads hanging to emphasise the messiness of life. I then added ME with sheer fabric and beaded around the letters. The backing is hand dyed and torn to size to frame the piece like life, with rough edges.

Unlike my typical photography, I took the photo out in the bright sun. The harsh light signifies the way the world looks at someone. Often one can feel the spotlight, even if only in one's perceptions.

I found this quilt to be a very educational experience. I'm not sure if it is the change in weather from dreary cold and wet to summer like that has happened over the last few weeks, but I feel much more at peace with myself after making this quilt and exploring the theme. Thanks Helen for pushing me in a direction I needed to go.

10 comments:

Dolores said...

Just goes to show that we are all unique.

Diane said...

Nikki,

I love the concept of this, and especially the idea of embracing your personal contradictions. The descriptive words torn apart is a very vivid illustration of your feelings! I like the finished result a lot, and am struck by how different this feels from your previous pieces. It feels like you stretched yourself a lot, and I really like it!! Beautiful work!

Terry said...

I felt like "identity" really called for words as well as images. You have used them deliberately and beautifully. Very thought-provoking piece. I wonder if everyone feels, at some level, like they don't fit a mold and are walking contradictions. I certainly do. Perhaps that is, ironically, what unites us all.

Terri said...

The first thing I noticed about your quilt Nikki, was the colors. They are so you! I think you and I had similar ideas when we came to think about Identity. But I can see that you took your thoughts much much deeper. Love this piece!

Kristin L said...

I think it is wonderful to be able to embrace all of one's contradictions. The colors are so happy and peaceful, like it is OK to be all these things that don't necessarily mesh. It may be messy, but it looks like it's messy in a serene way. Yay you!

Karen said...

I love that you failed your personality tests, that makes you an individual we can't put into a slot. Your piece says it all and it's beautiful to boot.

Gerrie said...

I thought about doing something like this, but at my age, there were too many words to deal with!! This piece, like Deborah's, is you. A lovely interpretation of the theme. I think we are all wakking contradictions on some level.

Heidi said...

I was lucky to stumble about this blog and challenge during the first theme. So I'm following from the start. For me this is your best quilt, Nikki

Françoise said...

Very nice.
I started with something like a list of words too, but didn't know how to put them all on a small quilt.
You did very well. And I think this piece of work is very Nikki.

kirsty said...

Nikki, I'm sorry to laugh but the concept of failing a personality test cracks me up!!
Terry, as she so often does, has made me think, with her observation that maybe it's our sense of not-belonging that binds us! I think that certainly most of us can relate to that feeling.
My favourite aspects of your quilt are the torn pieces (must tear fabric more often! what a satisfying feeling that is!) and the sheer letters. This quilt immediately gave me the impression that you are content with yourself and there, at the bottom, you say just that. :D