What We Don’t Talk About

This is an exploration of the spaces my family and I share. My maternal family has always felt distant to me: physically, because they live in Ohio, but also emotionally, as I never formed a solid connection to them. I have tried to bridge this gap through photography and other art making, studying the space and people around me, and focusing on how to create a stronger, enduring relationship with my family. A large part of this process involved quilting, a skill that was passed down through my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mom, and then to me. The preservation of this skill and is, in a sense, the preservation of my family across generations. The quilts included in my thesis project were created in collaboration with my mother, Nancy; my mother’s sister, Auntie Diana; and my grandmother; Grandma Murri. The individual squares were made in the 1950s by my great-grandmother, Grandma Ursul. Among other things, quilting allowed space for me and my grandmother to communicate through a shared admiration that we never had before.

Skills like quilting are only secure if the person receiving them is prepared to pass them down as well. I have no intention of having children, meaning this familial artistry will die with me.