Title: Carried, 2011
- Medium: Hand embroidery, hand dyed cotton floss, fiber reactive dye on linen.
- Artist: Kathie Webb
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 emotional 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
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.