It is difficult to examine live animals in nature because they run away; only after they’re dead can we get a closer look. In this series I explore how, in death, they could be simultaneously melancholy and beautiful. I call these pieces ‘objects of devotion.’ For me, embroidery is a meditative process, and its labor-intensive nature gives me time to reflect on the tenderness I have towards the animals. The medium of embroidery has been historically decorative and is associated with women's traditional handcrafts. In this work I also explore the contradiction of pairing a traditional medium with the non-traditional imagery of dead animals. Embroidered to scale, I invite the viewer to have an intimate relationship with them.
Gathering the images has become just as important as rendering them. Taking tips from friends and acquaintances I have stood in the breakdown lane off the highway, and have searched through trash to take reference photos. My compassion for animals comes from growing up in the Catskill Mountains and playing in the woods as a child. While working on these pieces I began to recall memories of catching frogs and newts after rainstorms, as well as crying as I buried a mouse after I had accidentally stepped on it under a tree.