Date of this Version
Published in Textiles and Politics: Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Washington, DC, September 18- September 22, 2012.
My work confronts the aftermath of war. In my woven and dyed pieces, I reflect upon the impact of war on my ÈmigrÈ Latvian household imbued with the memories of the refugee survivors. My work addresses the reality of living in Canada, within a family and a culture divided by the Iron Curtain. My use of visual icons to investigate the dislocation, historical context, personal fear, and cultural mythology reveals that the perception of my family was as much a product of the immigrant imagination as it was the experience of the Cold War. I moved to the United States in the weeks before Sept. 11, 2001. Now living in a country fighting two wars, both in the name of democracy (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom), the psychological legacy of my own family's experience produced discomfort and anxiety. My examination and reflections on these wars led me to produce a textile installation displaying woven portraits of the eyes of the fallen soldiers. To date I have woven all 157 Canadian solders who have died in Afghanistan and 160 US soldiers, just 2.7% of the over 6,000 who have died in both wars. The installation serves as a space of reflection, provoking a confrontation of the incongruities between the messianic mythology of war and its devastating personal repercussions.