Truth Before Flowers, 2019

Truth Before Flowers, June 15 - July 25, 2019
Women & Their Work, Austin, Texas

Stories told to children about princesses teach us that women are to be captured, imprisoned, and poisoned and only the love and rescue of a prince can release us from our suffering. As little girls, we are taught to be seen and not heard, perpetuating our roles as empty vessels for the desire and fulfillment of men. These stories are presented to us as truths, our single realities, and grandmothers, mothers, aunties, and sisters have created protective spaces to tell us the other versions.  It’s how I came to my table and learned about my family’s story but also herstory.  

“Truth Before Flowers” disentangles histories and traumas to find empowerment through objects of womanhood. Porcelain objects inspired by the history of teacups and dinnerware allows me to speak in dualities, especially of fragility and resilience and ultimately the struggle between diversity and the flawless white body. Materials like porcelain and hair have criss crossed the world and are migrations of identity and have the power to tell stories. In the 60’s and 70’s, textiles and pottery were considered women’s crafts and not art, hobbies taught at community centers, churches, and after school programs.  I often think about how these were taught to women to keep their hands occupied and keep our voices in domestic spaces and out of public spaces.  I want to deconstruct established hierarchies of materials and champion the handmade. There is a lot of shame and isolation in our stories and I am frustrated that we have not overcome more as women. Through pain and perfection, these objects amplify female voices, reconstruct our identities, and celebrate our truths.

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