I was dumbstruck today at the Renswick Gallery in Washington, D.C., when I came across a larger than life-size "figure" by Rick Cave called Soundsuit. The art is made of numerous, colorful doilies of all sizes and shapes sewed onto a life-like shape.
My grandmother, Josie, a woman born in the 19th century, used to crochet doilies exactly like the ones the artist used. I wondered how she'd feel if she were still alive and she came upon this work of art? Would she be proud or puzzled, ashamed or flattered?
And I also wondered from where did the artist get his hands on this treasure trove of handmade lacey doilies? From the older women in his family?
And I bristled a bit at the idea of what was always a woman's hand work turned into a man's art? I don't want to be part of the gender wars, but I would probably have embraced this work of art more warmly if it had been done by a woman.