By Tessie Berghoff
As a studio art major, I have been looking forward to and working toward my senior exhibition since I was a bright-eyed freshman. I started building on my idea especially last year when I dove into mixed media and started incorporating embroidery in my work. Countless hours of trial and error, stitching, and carpal tunnel syndrome from stitching later, I finished my series “Nostalgia.” Below is a little bit about my work and some photos.
My work features areas of my grandmother’s home, the same home where my mom was raised, and where I spent a great deal of my childhood. In these scenes, I focus on places that hold intimate memories of a large family.
I use the mediums of acrylic paint, embroidery, and watercolor to portray the emotion associated with these rooms. Each space hosts different memories; from the dining room that held countless Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the bedroom where each of her many grandkids spent a sick day in bed with Grams. I work with great care and reverence knowing these rooms hold the history and love of my family. Hand-embroidery reflects this reverence and serves to highlight the constructs of time and nostalgia as they relate to personal spaces and memory. The embroidery bears homage to my grandma’s history and the rich history of women everywhere. By spending hours sewing into my paintings, I have brought my grandma’s dedication to her family to life.
These works are gestures of gratitude to my grandma and all the women in my family who have taught me the values of patience, fortitude, and love.
PSA: the show is open until June 15 in the Dowd gallery if you want to check out my work and the work of my amazing peers.