Backstitched: The Embroidered Comics of Dee Clements
Dee Clements (Gallery One)







Dee Clements embroiders witty and relatable vignettes culled from her own experiences and memories. She favors commonplace situations, such as grocery shopping, sneaking out of the house as a rebellious teen, and daydreaming of being a rockstar, all of which evoke the more lighthearted aspects of the human condition. In this way, Clements challenges the traditional association of sewing with "woman's work" by putting it to use for the expression of universal hopes and anxieties. At the same time, the process of hand-sewing creates a feeling of intimacy, which is enhanced by Clements' selection of vintage handkerchiefs and doilies as the support of her designs. These passed down personal items display signs of wear and age, suggesting the passing of time and the crossing of individual histories. Each episode unfolds in a comic strip format, a typically mass-produced medium that counterbalances such intimacy with accessibility. The comic strip suggests both humor and temporality, two issues that pervade her investigation of memory and personhood.

Dee Clements received a BFA in 2003 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and subsequently received two grants from the CAAP, one of which was obtained for The Memory Quilt Project for which these embroideries were conceived.

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