Hand stitched linen
This series of stitched samplers mines ENOUGH’s multiplicity of meanings, inviting reflection on wholeness, abundance, boundaries, sufficiency.
As a tool for activism, they are a response to socially accepted forms of silencing and erasure. How can the disempowered become empowered to expose the unspoken?
The stitched samplers bearing the word ENOUGH are based on traditional Victorian alphabet samplers, created by girls as a means of simultaneously learning the material skills of stitching and the non-material skills of language, religious devotion, and femininity.
Anne Wolf’s samplers seek to contextualize the concept of ENOUGH within this codified history of “dual-literacy,” which holds an underlying tension between indoctrination and self-expression. Within the tedious efforts of cross-stitch, a cryptic system of “speaking” emerges. ENOUGH is found buried within the alphabet of the sampler or fading into the dark linen background. The word appears both deliberate and quiet as a visual whisper.
Since beginning this project, she has been working collaboratively with photographer Lisa Levine on a parallel ENOUGH Portrait photography series. Participants are invited to share their thoughts and feelings about ENOUGH and express them in their portrait photos. Ideas and inspirations from the photo sessions have begun to also influence the content in her samplers.
Within the stitches of these samplers, ENOUGH can become embodied and encrypted, benign or rebellious, leaving open-ended questions about what is spoken and what is hidden in plain sight.
Anne Wolfe, Enough, 2018. Image courtesy of John Wilson White
Purchase this artwork and others from the Call & Response exhibition online at MCD’s Artists Marketplace.
Anne Wolf is a sculptor, installation and community artist who works with fiber, cloth, clay and natural and found materials. Her mixed-media sculptures and public, site-specific installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. She teaches as a Senior Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts.
BFA University of California, Berkeley. MFA California College of Arts and Crafts.