I’m close enough to touch you

Sarah Blanchette

$1,400

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I’m close enough to touch you

English Paper Piecing is one of the oldest forms of hand quilting. It is the base for the famed grandmother quilt made of hexagon flowers. It is also a huge source of community for women as they sit in groups to work on their EPP projects and trade fabric hexagons with one another. The process is also physically draining and time consuming, which is why it is often not a solitary practice. I found that stripping the community from such rigorous processes allowed me to push my body and attention span. Title Origin: ‘I’m close enough to touch you’ is something that was said to a friend of mine in an online game. She had never experienced something like this before.

2
54"H × 23.5"W × 0.25"D
Fiber/Textiles
Wall Hangings
Figurative/Portraits
Contemporary
Quilting
Digital image printed on crushed velour, thread, felt, hand sewn
No
No

STATEMENT

As a pre-teen, I formed my IRL identity alongside my online persona. For a while, these two girls grew parallel to one another. When the IRL girl started changing physically and becoming unhappy with her body, the online persona could hold on to the youthful body and image that she started with. It was then that the fragmented woman started to form. The work that I create is a repeated exercise of trying to bring these two women together to establish new common ground. Thus far, that task has been immense. I expect that these women will someday collide again, but for now, the closest they get to each other is within the work. The works that I create always begin from an archive. Whether that is a quick 5-minute photoshoot with myself and my iPhone or a trip to my family film archive, I always start within a series of images and work to exhaust it entirely before moving on. Having the power to control which imagery is implemented in the work is the nearest feeling that I can find to managing my image. In the digital world of the internet, we sacrifice all aspects of control. I have the most power in my world. The techniques used are often rooted in quilting. This specifically references the act of quilting -sewing layers together and creating repetitive shapes. The broader history of quilting involves women working collectively on projects. My practice is intentionally a solo effort intended for meditation.

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