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Artist ID: 2320

Born from a sense of injustice and a lack of societal control, my work envisions what a matriarchal society might feel like. I attempt to capture an intense, complex, joyful and unapologetic feminine energy that might permeate an alternate reality where women hold the power.

In this imagined society, a more equitable system exists. Pinks and blues implying femininity and masculinity present as hybrid variations working together harmoniously. Quilts that situate blackness as the source of light and celebration suggest a change in how racial relations may exist within a matriarchal system. Reds and blues hint at American patriotism, and implicate the bridging of contemporary political divides. Thousands of black, pink and blue stitches, imply how certain social groups may be essential in keeping the “fabric of society” held together. Fabrics taken exclusively from hand-me-downs, thrift stores and yard sales across this country become stand-ins for their previous owners. When sewn together, they become a hopeful metaphor for how our country might one day become harmoniously unified with the help of female leadership.

Quilted entirely by hand, these works require care, imply slowing down, and recall a more restful state that undermines capitalist tenets– phenomena I believe would be reflected in systems created by women. These comfort-giving objects then make evident the pivotal role women’s work plays in the formation of societies, how systems created by them might be different, and provides a glimpse into a world where that work is joyous, celebrated, valued and visible.

Jessica Wohl is a painter and quilter who uses found remnants of domestic culture to explore social inequities that range from systemic racism to the demands of motherhood. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota she graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and received her MFA from the University of Georgia. Among other publications, her work has been featured in the New York Times T Magazine, New American Paintings, Vogue and ArtNews, and has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. She has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Hambidge Center for the Art and participated in An Artist Residency in Motherhood. She is represented by Weinberger Fine Arts in Kansas City, and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

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