Heather Marie Scholl
At the intersection of art and activism, I experiment with the ways I can bring a productive emotionality to social justice topics. I spend a lot of time thinking about how we’re born into fairy tales of the way life should be and the ways that comes crashing down around us. For me, this entails connecting personal experiences with contemporary and historical systems of power through the use of story. I explore the emotionality of these topics and some of the ways in which they are enacted using embroidery, mixed media, writing, and education.
My journey in attempting to understand my own trauma and oppression, while revealing my complicity in white supremacy, has fostered a desire to elucidate these varied experiences of oppression. In deeply investigating the ways we both experience and cause harm, I create experiences of truth that nurtures engagement and transformation.
The heirloom innocence of my methods echo this intimate approach by using techniques that demand the viewer lean in to view it. I continually return to ideas of the body and home, revealing the physicality of lived experiences, through the use of embroidery arts and garment- and home-décor pieces. Each of these mediums has been used almost exclusively by women for hundreds of years not merely for decorative purposes, but to document family, religious, regional and national stories. It is this tradition of visual storytelling that I step into. In particular, I am drawn to the many ways in which folk art, surrealist, and religious art can intersect to tell stories about how we make sense of the world and our places within it. Weaving together aesthetic inspiration from different eras, the pieces I create are removed from a single temporal context and instead become bearers of stories rooted in the past, present and future.