The Identity Series

Middle Friendship Star, 2009

Firstborn Shirting Quilt, 2009

Youngest Four-Patch, 2009

Twist in 3 Parts, 2009

The Identity Series marks the changes, overlaps, and transformations of identity that occur in the life of the family. Initially conceived as a grouping of representational portraits, the series later morphed into an abstracted idea of portraiture, taking as its formal basis one fingerprint of each member of our family. Printed individually, the fingerprints highlight unique genetic qualities; when layered, they can speak to the temporary masking of identity that occurs in the position of motherhood. In hand-stitched print blankets, issues of genetic difference overlap, literally and metaphorically, with larger implications of family position—individuality alongside and within familial identity. The most recent print “quilts” combine the fingerprints with fragments of the representational portraits, further playing on issues of identity and likeness. These visual memoirs of motherhood use traditional patchwork quilting patterns to draw on a lengthy history of women’s artistic creativity and on my own Mennonite cultural heritage.

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