The artwork created for my thesis is my artistic discussion with my mother about our shared familial histories and my father’s destructive presence. This work uses her main form of creative expression, quilting and my own, painting as a way to explore how our identities have become shaped through our histories. While the work began as a portrait of my mother and her struggles, the reconfiguring of the quilt by altering the shape, function and materials have led this work to become a self portrait of how the strength of one parent and the negligence of another has shaped who I am and my relationship with those I am tied to by blood.
Throughout this thesis process I have discovered that the critiques I was receiving on my studio work did not lend itself to all areas of my project. Because the work I was making featured craft based skills many of my critiques focused on the handcraft instead of other elements surrounding the work. Within this paper I utilize the language offered up by others who have redefined elements of studio craft in order to weave conceptual, craft and fine arts principles into a singular work. By creating a reference of successful collaborations between craft and fine art, those working in studio craft can create work that speaks to more than just skilled handwork.