A Pair of Sisters 08
Textiles, found objects, and personal archive weave together in Melissa Joseph’s hauntingly delicate works. Working primarily in felt following a residency at Textile Arts Center, Joseph creates deep linkages to her global, multi-racial experience through the blend of image and material, the soft distortion of felt mimicking the slippage of memory. For our collaboration, Joseph selected images from her family archive: one from the Indian side — Love Marriage — and one from the Irish side — A Pair of Sisters.
“This image, A Pair of Sisters, is two of my mom's seven sisters standing on the sidewalk in front of their home on the day of my Aunt Carol's First Communion. Sacraments and birthdays were some of the few days each year when an individual sibling got to be in the spotlight. This was Carol's day, but both of them are so happy in this photo. Carol is in her communion dress and veil, and my Aunt Kate is casually dressed, excited about the celebration. Seeing the way that my mom and her siblings love and continue to care for each other has been one of the greatest lessons of my life. Both of my parents maintained tight bonds with their siblings across great distances for decades, many without the aid of the internet. In this image, the embracing figures are needle felted in neon colors, literally ‘highlighting’ that bond.” — Melissa Joseph
Joseph’s practice is intimately tied to family histories, as well as how POC and femme bodies are permitted to occupy space. 20% of proceeds from A Pair of Sisters will be donated to Aid Access, an organization that helps women who do not have resources or the means to access local abortion services.