Before and After the Trial (2017)


WEB NEW Before and after the trial back

Before and After the Trial (Found fabrics, part of a found fishing net, fabric pastels, crayons, cotton caulking, cotton thread, 53 x 43 x 9 cm, 2017) Joy C Martindale

It begins light and flimsy – a small, broken piece of nylon fishing net – but becomes dense and weighty. With each stitch and mark, with each piece of cloth that I wrap around it I feel myself grow calmer. I stay with the work; I anchor myself to it and by doing so I resist the impulse to run. A cloud shape begins to suggest itself, perhaps only I can see it. My son likens the emerging form to a butterfly. But really the work is only itself. I think it is becoming strong enough to take all my feelings. Bits of it are flawed, frayed, damaged, dirty. I keep going, binding it up as one would a bandage and stitching, stitching, stitching. Catharsis comes through repetition until the moment arrives when it can hold itself together.

And then, after the trial, I return to it again. I am a new person – stronger, more determined –there is more work to do. It is not finished yet.

Before and After the trial explores my belief that it is possible to recover from a traumatic experience such as, in my case, domestic abuse, but that it takes a significant amount of time. The work considers the gradual nature of recovery through layering, mark making and stitch.

One thought on “Before and After the Trial (2017)

  1. Pingback: New Work ‘Before and After the Trial’ | joy c martindale

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