Hawthorne writes of Hester's extravagant taste for the sensual and gorgeous. Only through her lavish stitching on the "A", could she find a way to express this. In Puritan times, her sensibility and passion was a sin. While I can’t equate my position with Hester’s, I find that my needlework is also a place to express my passion for the gorgeous and the sensual. My contemporary sensibilities have expanded the work to include a sense that the beast is always lurking beneath the facade of our social order, giving it an unruly pulse and sometimes making it unrecognizable. I embellish my “A” with mink and velvet tentacles. Some tentacles penetrate and root in pieces of granite, the stuff of anchors and boundaries and the glacial strictures of the Puritan fathers. Another glides through a piece of refined marble. These tendrils reach out from the ”A”, touch other components, find their points of entry, encompassing or accommodating them.bThe urge toward the visceral is a desire for vital life which I express through handling my materials. Both Hester and I are seamstresses. The diligence of our needlework brings materials alive, stitch by stitch.
This piece was made for the "Exposing Scarlet" exhibition at Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, MA in 2004.