One Stitch at a Time: The Healing Power of Storytelling

I am working on a research project about Art and Social Justice for ISKME and I am learning about the most incredible artists! I thought I would feature some of them on my blog.

Tonight I read about Devora Neumark. She incorporates performance, sound and photography installations, storytelling and community art. I like her “emphasis on active listening and the willingness to risk vulnerability as strength are integral to her art, teaching, and community organizing.”

The particular project that drew me to her was on the art and healing site:

One Stitch at a Time: The Healing Power of Storytelling

With her project “One Stitch at a Time,” Devora Neumark has been changing the world one stitch at a time thru careful listening. In the course of her on-going project, Neumark takes up residency in homes for as along as it takes to crochet a garment, decided upon in conversation with her host. While crocheting, she listens as the host recounts his or her personal history. The completed garment becomes the host’s and holds and honors the stories told. Her project is proof that one need not go far afield to make a difference. As an artist, Neumark believes, “The more we honour communication within our homes, the more we seek respect and trust within the social sphere. The more we are tolerant of difference in the social sphere, the more we can have consideration for ourselves and our intimates,” and ultimately contribute to the compassionate understanding in the world at large.

She says on her site that this process reminded her of her grandmother who used to silently crochet blankets, kleenex box covers, etc. “She was the one person who could listen without passing judgement. So when I literally take residence in the people’s homes, I hope I am that image of the grandmother, inhabiting a space of gentleness.”

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