Kelly June Mitchell
hand sewn dolls made from old bed sheets, branches, stuffing
installation measurements approximately 3 ft x 5ft x 18in
In Pyre, two hand sewn dolls are hung and displayed above a pile of branches. One doll is whole and the other is incomplete, broken. The dolls are made from repurposed feminine style bed sheets and created using a feminine craft, hand sewing. The branches below below the dolls are meant to bring to mind the pyres lit beneath the thousands of women past who were accused of witchcraft. Often these accusations stemmed from things as innocent as milk curdling in the kitchen or a change in disposition, small things nonetheless seen as an affront to the expected feminine demeanor. If a woman did not conform to these expectations, how could she be anything other than a witch? Anything other than something to be gotten rid of?
The woman who slept on the sheets that make up the dolls in Pyre, was she whole or broken, was she pure or tainted? Was she the right kind of woman? Will we judge her based on what she did on those sheets? Make a judgment and decide if you will light the pyre.