Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creationist, Decision Portrait Series


(Above: Creationist, Decision Portrait Series. Stitched words: Darwin is wrong. Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand embroidery and beading. 25" x 19" unframed; 31" x 25" framed. Click on image to enlarge.)

Controversy is an inherent part of the Decision Portrait Series. The artwork, as a whole, addresses various issues to which most individuals respond with emotional, traumatic, and adamant feelings. The series presents many decisions in a straight-forward way, without value judgment. These decisions are often confrontational. These decisions seem to jump off the fabric and ask the viewer questions: What would you do? How would you react to someone who made a decision that you wouldn't make? This is intentional. After all, what is "right" for one person isn't necessarily "right" for another. What one person elects to do is a personal choice. How one person reacts is also a personal choice.


(Above: Creationist, Decision Portrait. Detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

The personal choice in this portrait deals with Darwin's theory of evolution. Laurel Siler has weighed the evidence, educated herself with the facts and the theories, and decided that DARWIN IS WRONG. Laurel is a creationist. That isn't to say that she believes in the Biblical "seven day" period....a week of twenty-four hour planet rotations....as the time line for the entire creation of the universe. She simply doesn't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. For Laurel, there's a sentence that runs through her mind every time this issue arises: "It's no accident".

While stitching this piece, I thought about my own education. Sure, I was taught that evolution was a THEORY. I was also taught the definition of a THEORY. Yet, I was presented the evolution material in a convincing way....as if a FACT, not a THEORY. I've never doubted its accuracy. I cannot imagine what I might think if "theory" was really stressed in grade school while evolution was being taught.


(Above: Creationist, Decision Portrait Series. Detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

I admire Laurel's examination of these ideas and her willingness to share her believes. I admire her strength of character and the many insightful probes her convictions have provided. I hope those seeing the portrait in the upcoming exhibition are mentally challenged by the diversity of decisions portrayed. This portrait is most assuredly thought-provoking...which is exactly what I hoped the entire series would do!

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Nice to live in a world where people are allowed their "theories and beliefs"...your whole series gives so many chances to question and wonder and marvel.