Before and After the Trial (2017-19)

SM piece with daylight bulb

Before and After the Trial, showing side 1 (Found fabrics, found fishing net, fabric pastels, crayons, cotton caulking, cotton thread, handmade wood wall mount, screws, 53 x 43 x 34 cm, 2017-2019) Joy C Martindale

SM piece closeup

Before and After the Trial, showing side 2 detail (Found fabrics, found fishing net, fabric pastels, crayons, cotton caulking, cotton thread, handmade wood wall mount, screws, 53 x 43 x 34 cm, 2017-2019) Joy C Martindale

SM piece from the lower side

Before and After the Trial, detail (Found fabrics, found fishing net, fabric pastels, crayons, cotton caulking, cotton thread, handmade wood wall mount, screws, 53 x 43 x 34 cm, 2017-2019) 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, gently 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 is a non-linear process that takes a significant amount of time. The work considers the gradual nature of recovery through layering, mark making and stitch.

WEB NEW Before and after the trial back

Before and After the Trial, work in progress, (found fishing net, fabric pastels, crayons, cotton caulking, cotton thread, 53 x 43 x 34 cm, 2017) Joy C Martindale

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