India ink & thread on canvas, approximately 10 x 6 feet
The process of making this piece was very involved and is the most important aspect of its existence. I had to speak to myself out loud while piecing limbs together and remind myself that alchemy and transformation is at the root of what I do. In most of my work I use found materials and some version of a deconstruction/reconstruction method. For Frankenlegs, I built up the surface of the material first by doing washes of india ink to keep translucency. Then, cutting out body parts like a paper doll and arranging this figure into something that was both scared and scary. The making of this piece is also divided into two sections: before and after a major heartbreak. After the heartbreak she opened up, no longer in a tight fetal position and now taking up more space—this also worked out compositionally as I got to play more with the shapes created by the negative space between the limbs. For a couple of weeks I wasn’t able to do much except work on this piece and build this protective figure. The physical making was super cathartic and it drew me out of bed. I kept going back to it magnetically, sometimes not even to sew, just to fidget or sit with her. I documented this process more than I have for any other project and kept referring to her as Frankenlegs but that will change. I think she deserves something a little more divine.
Symbols sewn into the body are a mixture of personal and cultural totems. The zigzag, trident, and cutlass all serve as protection. A lot of my tattoos are given to me by circumstance or through meditation and the clairvoyance I’ve spoken of before: the trident, zigzag and spiral fall under that umbrella. The rings were done intuitively to act as fortifiers and channelers of the energy concentrated in the hands.