For this project, Self-Restraint (2022), I created a series of large scale photographic self-portraits displayed in custom crocheted yarn frames. Each self-portrait, shot on traditional color film, features myself adorning unique crocheted yarn wearable pieces which I designed and constructed by hand. Rather than displaying soft and cozy wearables associated with crochet, such as warm hats and scarves, my pieces resemble restrictive bondage gear. The purpose of this is to subvert the stereotype of fiber processes being negatively associated with domesticity, softness, and ‘women’s work’. This work also represents my own struggle with depression and social anxiety. Having grown up in a conservative Christian small town in East Tennessee, my alternative gender and sexual identity have caused me to be alienated from the community since adolescence. Because of this, I additionally seek to de-stigmatize alternative expressions of sexuality such as BDSM. As a non-binary person who is exploring my own sexuality though BDSM, Self-Restraint serves to uniquely reveal my identity without shame or fear of societal restrictions.

Installation view at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (April 2022)

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