2018. Found fibers, jute, sugarcane, horsetail, digital inkjet prints. 100×16”
In pre-colonial Philippines, textiles were traded and highly valued, the spinner and the weaver were skilled and well-regarded, and wealth in textiles equaled wealth in gold. Ilokano inabel, made from cotton that was growing before the Spanish arrived in 1572, was used as ceremonial cloth, clothing, currency, and later as sails on the galleons that moved goods and people from Acapulco to Manila. Working with plant fibers allows for a direct connection to my ancestors as well as place, which I am exploring alongside my studies of the Ilokano language. This is my first weaving, an ode to the sampler, the cornucopia, and the textile practices that have been affected, stunted, manipulated, and hybridized by various colonial and missionary interventions – as well as by the innovation of native weavers who maintain the practice today.