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Ellen High: How She Taught Me

How She Taught Me

Ellen High

My thesis project is a record of individual conversations with women in my community. In these conversations, the participant and I discuss women in their life that have served as teachers in some way, either in a traditional or nontraditional sense. As we talk, the participant and I embroider together, stitching over quotes and images that were generated during previous conversations over the course of the project. This environment, defined by the slow labor of the craft and the shared stories, is intimate, organic, and tactile: an ideal environment for passing information and knowledge. Excerpts from these conversations are recorded in embroidered patches, created by the collective hands of these women, as a log both of the time and content shared over the series of interactions. The pieces each exist individually, but share the same scale and shape, and are scattered as a collection on a large table, giving viewers the ability to touch, assemble, and examine the words shared by these women. This interaction invokes the same sense of gathering under which the pieces were created, and allows for further knowledge to be gained through the haptic.

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