Inspired By: a Fur-Lined Teacup

I was recently asked if Meret Oppenheim’s fur-lined teacup, inspired Blackty Black Blanket.

According to the MOMA,  Object was inspired by a conversation between Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso, and photographer Dora Maar at a Paris café. Admiring Oppenheim’s fur-trimmed bracelets, Picasso remarked that one could cover just about anything with fur. “Even this cup and saucer,” Oppenheim replied.

Blackty Black Blanket came about by completely by happenstance. I tossed a partially finished zip tie blanket onto the white chaise in my studio and turned around to work on the computer. Later when i got up to leave the room and saw the blanket draped on the chaise, I did a double take and knew the Chaise and blanket belonged together.

I lost a comfortable place in my studio to lounge but gained a subtle yet powerful way to communicate how discomforting microaggressions feel.

Blackty Black Blanket, 2020

High Praise for Blackty Black Blanket

I’ve been tickled pink by the reception of Blackty Black Blanket has been getting.

It was selected to appear in Surface Design Journal’s Seventh Annual International Exhibition in Print: The Fusion of Fiber Arts, Fashion & Design is month.

And was also juried into Fiber Art Now’s eighth annual Excellence In Fibers exhibition.

Juror Kate Irvin, Curator and Department Head, Costume and Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Art Museum reviewed 1300 artworks and selected Blackty Black Blanket for the winter issue of Fiber Art Now to be released in January 2023. The work is also eligible for the onsite exhibition at San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, August 23, 2023 through January 4, 2024.

None of this would be possible without the stellar photos of my work by April Tracy. Thank you April for elevating my vision.

Microaggressions

Microaggressions are defined as subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.

The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination, is that people who commit microaggressions are often unaware they are doing these things – and if you point it out to them, they say, “That wasn’t my intention, you are being too sensitive.” Which is yet another microaggression.

I often have the experience of people touching my hair without asking first, which makes me feel like a merchandise on display. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been complimented for being “articulate.” Which presumes that black people are not usually capable of competent intellectual conversation.

The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.

Created using a combination of free form weaving, knotting and wrapping techniques, I have frozen these moments with, zip ties, ribbon, yarn, paracord, cotton rope, beading and recycled fishing nets to create protective armor.