Katelyn Michelle Turner
Its difficult for me to articulate my thoughts through words. Many like me sit behind a smart phone watching our world be infected by greed, fear, and hate. We accept our quite roles in life and often never stray from the herd. At some point this discernment hit me that change needs to be made that starts with each individual creating an effort towards a movement. What was realized through my art is I do have the advantage of having a unique set of tools that when applied through visual activism can make a difference. My artwork is about being a catalyst for social change. I want the work to get people to stop, look, and learn about the flaws within the way we socialize and to start thinking about the contributions one can create. The materials used in my work often come from a habit I have of collecting seemingly useless, old worn out things. Or as some may call it “hoarding.” Revitalizing something that has once been perceived as unworthy is a triumphant story of redemption, that so many can relate to, including myself. The reinvention of these objects symbolizes my journey from an outcast to a contributing member of the society. Fabric is also incorporated into some of my work because it has the universal quality of providing comfort. From an old blanket, to the seat of a car, to a wedding dress passed down from generations’ past, fabric has the ability to elicit strong emotions in us all. The juxtaposition of the protective quality of fabric with the often uncomfortable or uneasy nature of my work identifies the struggle one has with stepping out of their safe space to tackle intolerable conditions. Like the fabric of the clothes we wear, we should also wear the heavy thoughts of our dissipating society. As participants in this society we could remain inactive but at what cost? What is the cost of our apathy? A number of different processes are employed to make my work in mixed media. Sewing, collage, chain mail, metal smithing, embroidery, I explore different ares of craft that will enhance the meaning of the finished work. Often I find myself using processes that take time and repetition. The amount of time put in to each piece is a labor of love. Each stitch and link is another thread in the effort needed to reshape our culture. It is not just a solitary battle. We fight everyday in multiple ways, in almost everything we do, to finally make a positive and lasting impact on society. Because of the way information is disseminated we become desensitized to the injustices that exist in our world from sexualized violence, casualties of war, civil rights, to the poor and “the huddled masses yearning to be free” . The normalization of our patriarchal hegemonic culture has resulted in the acceptance of the mistreatment of minorities and the fringes of our society. I want to shine a light on the darkness that has been whited out. My goal like Jacob Riis is to show how the other half lives. I want the ideas of reformation to create a revolution.