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Josie Love Roebuck

My work addresses the contemporary complexities of identifying as biracial, as well as themes of pain and triumph, exclusion and acceptance, symbolized through layering, sewing, and patchwork. My work takes the shape of tapestry-like-quilts, honoring it’s rich history while adapting the form. Within my work I combine yarn, screen-printing/cyanotype, soft pastel, acrylic paint, charcoal, crochet, applique, found materials, and fabric. As a storyteller, the use of these materials allows me to weave together multiple perspectives within a single piece, reinforcing the duality of a person’s identity or healing process.

 The act of sewing has allowed canvas to become my paper and needle to become my pen: it is a platform for my voice to be heard through a specific medium. The layered and textured qualities of this work allow me to analyze the human condition, expressing the qualities of life, chaotic and messy, that makes each of us unique. Pulling from traumatic memory, personal history, and an ongoing critical investigation of definitions regarding race, I have been asking the question: How can one ever be “whole” if society thrives on racial division? 

I will be expanding my practice with a new series entitled, The Poetics of Trauma, in which I will be visualizing the specific experiences of women who have been interviewed for this project, focusing on their hardships and resilience, exclusions and triumphs, and ultimately, their path to healing. By sharing their stories, my work will embody these hardships, while simultaneously highlighting how each woman has blossomed, specifically celebrating their joyous moments of overcoming. This expository body of work allows people a glimpse of life for another, Through this new body of work, breathing life and healing into the violence women face while providing a platform for them so that they can be heard.

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