Katherine Diuguid is a fantastic artist and teacher whose goldwork skills are up there among the best of them. She’s a terrific advocate for embroidery and a really nice person to boot! She contacted me about this recent project that is a great example of craftivism.
“Earlier this Spring, North Carolina passed a law concerning which bathrooms transgender people may use and basically used it as a vehicle to strip rights from LGTBQ persons in NC and legalize discrimination. Precious Lovell and I were invited to participate in an Artist’s response exhibition titled FUHB2 where each of us created a piece of art in response to the bill to be auctioned off to help raise funds for Equality NC. There were 22 artists representing photography, painting, mixed media and the two of us for fibers.
My piece was called Reliquary of Hypocrisy: It Was Never About the Bathrooms
“Women throughout history have used their needles to voice their opinions and stand up for themselves. I have never really dealt with overt political themes in my work, not on purpose necessarily, but mainly because the direction of my work was different or because I wanted the message concealed. I now find myself needing to use my needle to make a stand. To say to a group of people being marginalized that they matter that they are loved just as they are.
“I am proud to be from the beautiful state of NC. I long for its fresh mountain air and silence and treasure the sunset memories of childhood trips to the Outer Banks. First in flight. First in freedom. We pride ourselves with being at the forefront of progress. Yet I find myself in a moment that is beyond discouraging as many strive and have been successful in stripping rights from certain groups of citizens and utilizing a gospel of fear to push their agenda.
“So with my needle. With my art I say to those marginalized groups- you matter. You are loved. Be proud of who you are. Yes you may pee next to me but more importantly – you can vote next to me. You can pray next to me. You can live safely next to me. You can enjoy the beauty of the mountains, Piedmont and beach next to me. You can be you, just as you are, next to me. I stand beside you to say you matter just as much as me.
“Much of the conversation surrounding HB2 has focused on biological sex organs and their use in defining someone’s identity. Fear and labels have been the defense of choice used to defend the bill. How does this type of categorizing help us to love our neighbors? What does this kind of conversation really reveal?”