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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Going Crazy

I’m not sure that I’m ready to have the words clearly visible in the way I presented for the tutorial, so I think of other ways I might present them.

Crazy patchwork is an idea. That Victorian excess of embellishment and odd shapes can hide so many things in plain sight. Historically it is not too far from the late 19th Century period I am referencing with my whitework. It comes from the height of Victorian fancywork and emphasises the place of the gentlewoman in the home, excluded from the public realm of ideas and independence.

How else could she make work as elaborate as this?!

I sketch out some samples to see how it would look and realise that different angles have different emotional connotations for me. So, I try to find some *angry* angles that are nevertheless easy enough to stitch with not too many seam allowances coming together in any one spot.

I think about making crazy patchwork using chine collé and a variety of different papers. But I end up testing the idea with fabric scraps and misprints from my Print Exchange.

I realise that the power of the triplet of words with their alliteration will be lost in this format. I reflect on the tension between revealing and concealing aspects of my experience which is so characteristic of trauma. The diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include both re-experiencing (flashbacks) and avoidance. Dissociation is an extreme form of this where different autobiographical memories, emotional responses, and other aspects of the self are split within the traumatised mind in its attempts at self-preservation. In this context the blank angled fragments in my crazy-work sample take on greater significance. And of course the word "crazy" itself...

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