Slice of Life: Embroidery as an Act of Resistance

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I was wandering our small city’s downtown, a little bit bored and sort of wasting the hour. This is often when our attention to the small things of the world is at its finest — when we are not consumed by other tasks. I noticed the window of a public art gallery, and wandered in. I had time.

The latest art show in the gallery is called Tiny Pricks, and it features embroidery of President Trump’s craziest quotes, with art as the lens of protest. It’s both amazingly insightful and sadly alarming (the things Trump says). Along with the art on display, the gallery has hosted sessions for more embroidery for visitors. At a table, all of the materials were laid out, at rest, as if the embroidery team had just suddenly gone off on coffee break and would be back soon.


If I knew how to embroider with needle and thread and cloth, I might have sat down and continued their work. Instead, I kept making my way through the hanging wall displays. There must have been at least a 100 or more embroidered works of art.

I wandered in the gallery for some time, just staring at the embroidery and appreciating how art is a way for us to express our political views, and then wondering if projects like this will translate into votes in November. I eavesdropped in on other patrons, who seemed to be asking some of the same questions.

I left after a bit, still thinking about the artwork for hours later, which I suppose is a sign of the power of the embroidery, of the artists, to help us see the world — political, or otherwise —  in a new way and to wonder about other paths forward.

Peace (and resistance),

  1. Expressive, indeed. Never would I have thought about embroidery as a means of venting … I took up cross-stitching years ago and it’s tedious, frustrating, time-consuming, NOT relaxing (to me, anyway). Yet the beauty of of it was pleasing after much, much labor. I gave up on some pieces and never finished (beginning to see an analogy for writing here). I find it fascinating that people persevered with the creation of such lovely artwork juxtaposed with harshness. A life lesson is in this …

  2. This absolutely made my morning! I grew up embroidering my jeans and jacket and backpack in order to make a unique statement about my identity, so I was drawn to your title. and the writing wrapped around me. Thank you for sharing this charming but very important slice – art as resistence – let’s not forget that it can be about more than consumption.

  3. My initial comment was rejected because I compared the embroidery here with the pink cat-eared hats that women knitted for the Women’s March on Washington. Apparently *that word* isn’t allowed on edublogs!!! Ah well…I will recreate what I can.
    I appreciated your wanderings and observations as you went through the museum. I was especially struck by this line: “If I knew how to embroider with needle and thread and cloth, I might have sat down and continued their work.” What might we do if we knew how to do it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *