Fault Lines

2019

Fault Lines are woven portraits of the top nine oil producing states in the US (at the time of weaving). This includes Oklahoma, California, Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, and Alaska. Each state’s portrait is composed of climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

I materialize the data by weaving linen and organic cotton dyed with plant and insect-derived dyes and mineral mordants. I draw compositional elements from the landscapes that I move through. In this case, the color pallet is influenced by the iconic red dirt of Oklahoma, my current home. The cloth’s structure is that of sediment--layers of earth, layers of history, built up over time--and breaks and shifts in this earth. The nine portraits, woven as separate panels, are stitched together to create the final piece. At five feet in height and nine and a half feet in length, the size mimics the dimensions of the flags used to drape military caskets.

The work I have made over the last two years has been shaped by changes in national climate politics and energy policy, and my coinciding move from Berkeley, California, a place that takes pride in its history of environmental activism, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, once nicknamed the oil capitol of the world and still economically and culturally tethered to the oil and gas industry. Of course, California, too, is economically and culturally tethered to this industry, as is the rest of the United States.

In 2018 the US became the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. The country’s ability to claim this title relies heavily on ever more invasive, destructive, and risky forms of extraction like deep water drilling and hydraulic fracturing. We are all fully intertwined with and dependent on this industry, even as we are increasingly aware of the violence it perpetuates.

 

I often produce work iteratively, exploring the same topic multiple times as I seek the most successful form. The images below are of the first collection of Fault Lines, woven in 2018 and exhibited alongside the Fractures and Fissures series.