Silk from a salwar and chuni that artist's grandmother wore, two nalas, rope from artist's favorite Utah climbing gym, paracord, found wood, plastic and metal loom bars, heddle rods and shed rods, eye bolts, hand-spun wool, skin dyed and acid dyed wool, digital handwoven fabric mostly in cotton, mohair and metallics, various other yarns and fabrics in cotton, wool, acrylic, linen, and mohair
The title for this piece was inspired by Cherrie Moraga's idea of garbled utterances and the Xicanx story. So often when I speak about identity, family history, race, I feel like I'm choking up the words, caught in a tension of too many nuances, held by the fear that I know I'm doing it all wrong. This is not unlike the way I speak Spanish, stuttering my way through a language that may or may not hold my experience better than the one I most often try to speak in.
But when telling a story through my body at the loom, through fingers, found materials, weaving, all of the stuttering, the garble, get squeezed and teased into patterns and movements that are allowed to keep changing. Weaving, rather than creating a fixed mark, a linear progression, is a collision in cloth. The knots, tangles, tears, twists; the disorder and reorder; the cut-off and lost - this is how the fabric gets made. I can touch it, handle it, in a way that words and their definitions don't allow for.
This vertical-post loom, although newly assembled for this piece, is a structure which I began weaving on with Mapuche-Argentine weavers near El Bolson, Argentina in 2011. I love this loom because the way it was taught to me was as a scaffolding for stories – the stories that one generation had to forget and another generation had to remember; both generations weaving into one another. This loom is my slow-dance, my hands feeling out rhythms, my mind sorting out steps, my feet pushing against the looming collapse, as the tension gets thrown and we both fall to the floor.