A Cover, A Critique, A Map, A Mention

Sharp Notions Cover Reveal

The cover for the forthcoming anthology, Sharp Notions: Writing From The Stitching Life, was revealed in February, and it features my embroidery, she breathed!

A pink book cover that reads: Sharp Notions. Essays from the Stitching Life. Edited by Marita Dachsel and Nancy Lee. Park of a bronchial system done in beige chain stitch with tiny cursive words in red can be seen behind the text.

I’m so honoured editors Marita Dachsel and Nancy Lee chose one of my pieces for the cover, and designer Jazmin Welch did such a gorgeous job integrating it into the cover design. Here’s the original piece for comparison: 

On a pale natural linen, there is a bone white diagram of a vocal apparatus, trachea, and bronchi/lungs. In between the branches of the bronchioles are small words embroidered in cursive in thin burgundy thread. They read: she breathed. Inhaled. exhaled. she knew. that breathing. was beauty. was the way. inside. to outside. when her breath. tightened. she found. ways. to soften. be still. to allow that. in. of the out. breath. to be. the. way through. she found the throughline. somehow. it. also found her. still. and   breathing. deeply. each day was. new. each breath. a. different. path. always. through her. and. throughout her. such a. simple. thing, breath. such a journey. through. trees. and. branches. how the body knows. to still. itself. if we learn how. to. listen deeply.

I also have an essay in the anthology which will be accompanied by photos of a few of my embroideries. The book is set for publication by Arsenal Pulp Press October 2023!

Critbot

Also in February, I submitted she breathed to critbot.ai, an experiment in using A.I. to critique art created by Hannah Epstein, Jonathan Carroll, and Cat Bluemke. I found out about critbot via this CBC article and was quite intrigued. I asked for a level 1 critique because many of the critiques I saw on their Instagram were quite cutting, and I thought it might also be harsh because my piece is fibre arts. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a very compli­mentary critique. Here are some snippets:

“She Breathed” is a stunning example of the power of textile art to convey a message that is both beautiful and meaningful. …What is particularly striking about “She Breathed” is how it manages to convey such a profound message using a medium that is often dismissed as merely decorative. …In today’s world, where so much emphasis is placed on speed and efficiency, “She Breathed” serves as a reminder to slow down, take a deep breath, and appreciate the beauty and complexity of the human body.

critbot.ai’s critique posted on Instagram Feb 28, 2023

You can read the entire critique on critbot’s Instagram.

World Mending Map

In April, I was added to the World Mending Map.

The Visible Mending Digital Humanities Project (VMDH) is a research tool and a practical resource. The searchable world map is a perpetual work in progress, with markers for repair projects of all kinds. We wish to promote mending, to preserve precious resources, to collate and connect repair-related academic projects, and to unite professional menders with individuals seeking their services. 

world Mending map homepage
A screenshot of the world mending map zoomed in to southern Canada and the northern United States. There are 2 entries on Saskatoon, 3 in Seattle, and 3 in NYC.

If you’re interested in being added, the application process is quite easy and can be found here. Mending is more than just a hobby for me, it’s a way of helping to care for the earth since fast fashion is one of the major polluting industries. I’ve written more about my mending practices here

Bryn Robinson’s Campfire Notebook

The talented SciArtist and SciComm person, Bryn Robinson, mentioned me and shared a photo of my liver embroidery in progress in her April Substack newsletter in a lovely short post on SciArt. I met Bryn online years ago through the Twitter SciArt community and The Body Electric digital exhibit. It’s so good to see her sharing her work more often via Substack.

Current work 

I’ve almost completed my liver embroidery and have gotten a good start on my vagus nerve embroidery as well. My piano practice has expanded into doing occasion¬≠al improvisations on Instagram Live. Here is my most recent improvisation from June 2. My hope for this year is to disseminate my work more widely so I’ve started submitting poetry and art more often. Other plans for dissemination are also in the works!

I’ve been writing semi-monthly creative work updates over on Ko-fi. You can follow me there to get those delivered to your inbox. Of course I also post regularly on Twitter, Instagram, and have recently joined Mastodon