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TSDAP: Thimble Congregations

In my practice I commonly pick apart known forms associated with the history of sewing, such as clothing, fabric, pincushions and, in this case, the thimble, to try to understand it thoroughly and in a context different than its original. I work interdisciplinary in sculpture, drawing, painting, video and installation. As an educator and artist, I believe in leaving an open narrative. This statement aims to peak curiosity as opposed to define meaning, in line with the work itself.

Instagram: @dianajpuglisi

October 2020

‘Thimble Congregations’

Thimble Congregations is a series of iPad drawings that emphasize arrangement as a means to anthropomorphize. I became drawn to this small finger protector because its timeless function has become somewhat obsolete despite sewing’s recent resurgence. The tools are inherently gendered and associated with women, characteristics the New York Times canonized in 1886’s Inventor of the Thimble, which relayed the "thumb bell" was conceived by a Dutch goldsmith "in order to protect his sweetheart's thumb tops when she was engaged with a needle and cotton." The Times piece later noted its inventor "placed the first thimble on the thumb of his lady love." I found this practically true statement humorous given it furthers the historic depiction of women as fragile yet truly recognizes the thimble’s role as a work tool. In these drawings, I aim for the thimbles to carry messages through what is drawn on them, how they are and are not arranged and how the large blocks of color condense the frame. I select imagery to decorate the thimbles by reflecting on what is happening culturally, hoping that those viewing may question the digital drawings in relation to their own perspectives.

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