Art Collections: Craft Media

Artist: Kathie Webb

Kathie Webb Title: Carried, 2011
Medium: Hand embroidery, hand dyed cotton floss, fiber reactive dye on linen.
Location: Student Center, 2nd floor outside of President’s office
Artist Statement/ Info:

I stitch images that reveal pure moments in everyday life. Through the repetitive motions of embroidery, I join the physical material with emotions and reconcile observable facts with everyday truths.

Historically, women have used embroidery as a creative outlet for coping with the challenges of life. On towels and tablecloths, reflections of household chores and alphabets for learning were carefully stitched. This pastime was a common part of women’s domestic life.

Currently my work is focused on capturing moments with my severely disabled daughter, Kaitlin. I use digital photography to record her days and then edit the image and refine the line through Photoshop so that I may communicate my observed vision with embroidery. I demonstrate the pure emotions response Kaitlin reflects in her needs and wants as a human being. Verbal is a series of panels of her hands in gestures of communication. Unable to communicate verbally, she uses these gestures to express feelings like fear, anticipation and happiness.

My work brings forward the realization that compassion is shared throughout humanity. In Weight, I have created a large-scale diptych, which places in parallel positions an image of my older daughter carrying Kaitlin and a soldier in Bagdad carrying an Iraqi infant.
One of the gifts of having a child with severe disabilities is the realization that there are inherent needs to being human. We are born with feelings that create the need for love, security and companionship. Through my work I am sharing my discovery that what can save you is right next to you or inside you. As I stitch, I am not only recreating intimate moments but I am working to make sense of what is now my life.