The Rockford Midwestern Biennial

 

We meet Rockford artist Kathie Webb, who stitches about her life as the mother of a mentally challenged child, on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm. Webb uses fiber-reactive dye to create color and texture, and then hand-embroiders images. Her work titled "Everyday 1" is featured in the 2012 Rockford Midwestern Biennial art exhibition. Read her artist's statement about the "Everyday" series and view a slideshow of her work.

Everyday 1 by Kathie Webb; click image to view photo gallery

"I stitch images that reveal pure moments in everyday life. Through the repetitive motions of embroidery, I join the physical material with emotions and reconcile observable facts with everyday truths.

Historically, women have used embroidery as a creative outlet for coping with the challenges of life. On towels and tablecloths, reflections of household chores and alphabets for learning were carefully stitched. This pastime was a common part of women’s domestic life.

Currently my work is focused on capturing moments with my severely disabled daughter, Kaitlin. I use digital photography to record her days and then edit the image and refine the line through Photoshop so that I may communicate my observed vision with embroidery. I demonstrate the pure, emotional response Kaitlin reflects in her needs and wants as a human being.

One of the gifts of having a child with severe disabilities is the realization that there are inherent needs to being human. We are born with feelings that create the need for love, security and companionship. Through my work I am sharing my discovery that what can save you is right next to you or inside you. As I stitch, I am not only recreating intimate moments but I am working to make sense of what is now my life.

My work brings forward the realization that compassion is shared throughout humanity."