Materials and Feminism


I rescue old crocheted blankets

from thrift stores and giveaway piles,

imagining that its unknown maker

is a grandmother to me.

You know the ones,

Brightly colored, with a chunky knit, and geometric patterns.

The blankets that when cleaning out a grandparent’s closet

are the first to be dismissed.

Maybe for a moment someone

Pauses and says: “Wow

she was so crafty.”

But there won’t be room for it in the home.

The blanket clashes with the world’s tastes

just the same way that public breastfeeding does.

Sweet gestures of love

make us uncomfortable in their femininity.

When the skin on my hands is as fragile as a dried-out leaf,

and my hands can no longer work to serve others,

I hope that the domestic care that I gave is respected,

just as much as the times that I have been praised for acting like a man.

To the nameless Grandmother, (with a life’s work unrecorded):

I have washed the blankets and they smell sweet.

Some I will use to make art out of,

others for the nights when a child’s fever doesn’t break.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Bellow one of my most recent piece that uses a crocheted blanket as a material:

"Things I Didn't Choose to Inherit"

2018

materials: crocheted blanket, bubble wrap, foam, resin, spray paint, plaster casting, water bottles, bowls, rope, shelves, cup, straw, crayon, acrylic paint, plastic wrap.

detail of "What I didn't Choose to Inherit"

The blanket reminds me of all the acts of tenderness that are seen as disposable, and invisible . No one wants to inherit invisibility, but it is thrust upon mothers.

detail of blanket with plaster cast.

I've been interested in plaster as material that speaks about something being repaired internally, I also love it's rough surface.

detail of panel made of bubble wrap, foam, paint, plastic wrap. Bowls and bottles plaster cast and crayon.

detail of foam panel with paint and spray paint.

"Things I didn't Choose to Inherit" 2018

Blankets for future projects

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© 2020 by RACHAEL ZUR.