In my thesis project, The Legend, I explore the historical and contemporary dynamics of gender roles. Based on a personal narrative surrounding the death of my grandfather, a traditionally masculine man that represented the All-American ideal, these art objects examine the actions of a man’s-man who undertook a stereotypically feminine craft – that of cross stitching. In his sixties, my grandfather lost much of his former athleticism and lived with limited mobility. It was at this point that he began cross stitching as a way to pass the time. He ritualistically stitched all day long and was an extremely prolific maker, creating hundreds of pieces in a 20-year span. I use his craftwork to further my connection with him by incorporating three memorable stories from his life that correspond to three of the pieces of photo-based cross stitching included in this installation; narratives that played a part in my own elevation of my grandfather to a mythic level nearing that of a Greek god.
Viewers are able to activate the installation by pressing the buttons and listening to three audio narrations through the provided headphones.