As we witness cultural warfare across our nation, I find myself thinking about the role of artists and how we can heal the divides etched so deeply into the land and being of this country. In “Mending,” I visualize the cyclical thought patterns of trauma by projecting onto a window and a mirror that I have arrayed to produce overlapping images. I interrupt these images with my physical presence as I complete the repetitive task of stitching patches into garments—thus relating the internal to the external and bringing personal processes of grieving and healing to the public eye. In doing so, I affirm our personal healing processes as a necessary step in the healing of our culture.
With each patch, I give away a bit of the performance to those who have chosen art as a path at Whitman College, which I hope will serve as both a symbol of my love for them and a reminder of their own bravery and creativity as they set about making, sharing, engaging, and mending in the days, weeks, and months to come.