I think I got exactly zero comments on my piece in the American Tapestry Alliance's Untitled/Unjuried show in Rhode Island last summer. Perhaps it puzzled people. Perhaps it wasn't interesting. Or perhaps they just didn't want to ask if the word "lesbian" was really woven into it.
The piece is called Personals.
I wove this piece years ago and for whatever reason felt that this was the opportunity to put it in a show.
Posting this piece on my blog is a bit of a risk. It shouldn't be, but it still feels that way. I haven't made the fact that I am married to a woman a secret in this space, but if you really wanted to ignore it, you could. It is a risk because my livelihood rides in large part on people respecting me and what I do. And lets face it. There are many people out there who don't understand people like me.
People like me.
You know. The LGBTQ (sometimes there are more letters added... just go with it) people. Fortunately the world in general has lightened up a bit in the last decade on this "issue". Thank goodness for that. (Frankly, I just hope that we've finally realized there are FAR more important things to spend time debating than the gender of someone's partner.)
This piece was woven quite a few years ago. It was conceived of years before that. Before I met the love that I spend my days with now. Back when I was lonely and wandering through northern New Mexico wishing for connections of some kind somewhere. In one of those lonely swirling moments, a friend I worked with saw me pumping gas at a little station in Taos, pulled up next to me and said (though she is fiercely straight), "Lesbians. Wanted. Here." It was a lovely, sweet, friendly thing to do in a moment I really needed someone to tell me that I was okay.
I scribbled this little design down in my journal a few days later and there it lived until I resurrected it on my first Mirrix.
So there you have it. Lesbians wanted here. It was intended as a question. One design of this piece had a large transparent W at the beginning of the word here, which is, you may have noticed, already backwards.
Perhaps this was exactly the perfect piece for a show called Untitled/Unjuried. Personally, I'd prefer to be both.
Janet Austin and her team for putting it together and displaying it at Convergence in Providence last summer. It was a show full of delightful things and I recommend, if you're a catalog collector like me, that you get one for yourself and see what marvelous little things people made for it. I wrote more about it HERE.