Swampland of the Soul is an exploration into the metaphor of a swamp as representative of the internal landscape of our own complicated emotions. These emotions include shame, fear, uncertainty, and confusion. Swampland is generally an uninhabitable place, largely unexplored, and a place where it is easy to get lost. The murkiness of the water, the unstable ground, imposing and deeply rooted cypress trees, and the darkness created by a canopy of knotted vines and in general the stagnant nature of swampland all can be seen as symbolic of feelings all people have but most don’t actively explore or shed light on the roots of these feelings. When left to fester, these negative or painful aspects of our pasts and memories can grow out of control and manifest themselves in other areas of our lives on the surface. This mirrors the stagnant nature of the swamp and the possibility of getting trapped and lost in our traumas and pain. Henry David Thoreau writes:
My temple is the swamp… When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most impenetrable and to the citizen, most dismal, swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place, a sanctum sanctorum… "
The act of confronting these things may be painful, but wandering through the swampland of our own souls is necessary for personal growth.
Material explorations were made using screen printing, dyeing, hand drawn illustrations, discharge printing, burnout on Devore silk, and embroidery, as well as incorporation of found materials.