Anxiety is the first in a series of pieces that are conversations about mental health and making those experiences more visible. I asked a group of friends and family members to imagine and describe to me what they thought anxiety looked like: an oil slick, a never-ending waterfall, crackling blue electricity, a white hot dagger between your shoulder blades, heavy and enveloping, a dark forest with movements you can’t quite identify, a glowing red ember. I brought all of those ideas together into the fabric I designed for this piece. Because anxiety is something you can’t always see from the outside I also hid another image in the lining, using a fabric with a woven pattern of creepy crawly insects where only the wearer would see it. The keys to the padlocks that fasten the cape-coat are visible, but perhaps just out of reach. 

Digitally printed cotton sateen and polyester chiffon, fabric designed by the artist, hand beaded

Anxiety was exhibited at Touchstone Center for Craft in May – August 2021.