fiber art

hand embroidered batik

My work has a strong social justice component to it as I create images of people or groups who have been marginalized, discriminated against, or abused. The works in this Gallery depict specific Philadelphians; someone living in an area homeless shelter or on the streets. The works provide faces to those who are faceless, nameless and powerless, and bear witness to those who are suffering. The beauty that the artistic process brings to the images creates a tension with the inherent cruelty of the lives of the subjects; in admiring the works, the viewer becomes almost complicit in their abuse and neglect. 


In viewing these works it is important to understand the difference between homeless and dispossessed. The individuals being portrayed are not just homeless; they are being systematically brutalized by both a system and individuals that have lost sight of our common humanity. Those of us who actively ignore what is happening are participating in this system of abuse and neglect by default. 


Each work here started with a person; someone not dissimilar to myself but someone whose life circumstances brought them to a very different place. As I spoke to each individual, I was humbled and amazed to hear one word repeated over and over again : grateful. Dispossessed and homeless - yet grateful.


Batik and hand dyed fabric that has been pieced and appliquéd

 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

    -Ocean Vuong


hand embroidered batik
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