Monday, November 17, 2014

My Untitled/Unjuried piece... Personals

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 answer is yes.
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.
Where indeed?

Perhaps this was exactly the perfect piece for a show called Untitled/Unjuried. Personally, I'd prefer to be both.

The Untitled/Unjuried American Tapestry Alliance show was lovely. A huge thanks to 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.

14 comments:

  1. i love it!!
    i am so glad the risk of being ourselves have changed over the years.
    ourselves being anything that we feel the urge to be..

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  2. Trish at Tangled ThreadsNovember 17, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    You know I have always supported you and the decisions you make. It is really no one else's business, but there are those who try to make it so. I hope your tapestry piece and the comments you have shared will help some others see the world in a slightly larger way.

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  3. Thank you Rebecca for putting your piece in the show. I think we all need to stand up for who we are and how we feel no matter what it is. It takes a strong person to do that in a public place. We also need to realize just because people don't comment, they still may understand and care.

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  4. Nice post, Rebecca, and a clarification for me. I never got the word "wanted" before this, but thought it was little abstract bits to balance the very clear words. Nice.

    I'm more fascinated by how different accomplished tapists approach their work so differently. Just in the last two months I've seen how you weave from the back using relatively soft yarn with a thinner warp than I'm used to, then how Joan Baxter weaves from the front using tighter twist yarn with looser tension but my usual warp. And both of you do spectacular work. Yay for differences!

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  5. Good for you for choosing to stay true to who you are. Those that stand in judgement of ANY other person,other than themselves, should probably just stay home!! Thank you for your meaningful posts and for sharing your skills.

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  6. What I see is a talented tapestry weaver whose work inspires me, who makes funny videos and writes great blog posts. I hate labels put on people - there are loads of elements that make you the person you are and if you made a list of them all on a tapestry it would be VERY long :-)

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  7. Praise, respect and kudos Rebecca. And I am very happy you explained what your tapestry said because I did not see it when I saw the tapestry in a picture.

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  8. Rebecca, it is sad, that even today, it takes courage to be who you are. To me, you are my tapestry mentor, creator of beauty you see and someone who is true to herself. I love you. Thank you.

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  9. Rebecca, you dont ask students what are their preferences in personal life... So we love you. You are a fantastic weaver, an artist and a woman who love. Be proud of you!

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  10. Yeah, labels suck - ironically, no one seems to care about me having a female partner ... I think I'm perceived as being so weird that it's irrelevant ;)

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  11. great post, great weaver, great gal.

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  12. I can't see a link at your Unjuried Show link to make comments!

    Technically brilliant. Artistically brave too. Should be a non-issue, IMO. May you and your lucky wife have many years of happiness together, and may a time come in both our lifetimes when it is just a part of getting to know someone, instead of a risk.

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