Staring into Carrie Burch's stitch work is a little like gazing into a mirror. The "Women's Series" features women's expressions, with the intricate work used to illustrate fragmented emotions and an eye for detail that will shock you. All of these things contribute to a series of cool Etsy finds on her shop called "StitchFolks," and it might just resemble how you felt at the Women's March surrounded by thousands, or when the results came out on election night. To capture the feelings and emotions of a political climate fueled by the question of, "What happens now?" Burch creates diverse embroidered portraits of women to reflect their reality after the election.
So when you scroll through her work, looking at the women wearing hijabs, curls, and fros, with eyes closed and lips pursed, there is an emotion radiating from each one. Some of these share a subtle grief, some of them look a lot like an internal conversation is happening, and some even look like they're waiting for a moment to exhale. It' relatable. The whole nation seemed to hold its breath throughout the whole election, only taking breaths between debates about who was the less scandalous candidate. When it was time to process, there was a mountain's worth to be worried or concerned about.
What will happen to the state of women's health? What kind of example are we setting if a man who brags about allegedly assaulting women becomes president? What will the future of this country look like if we actually build a wall? And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to thinking about how women will fare in a country under the 45th.
With patterns and expressions that share images of processing a post-Obama period for politics that seemed like it had so much promise. Burch shared that it was a "healing" experience finally having a way to express those emotions, and it can for other women too.
"When I finished the first one, I was able to hold it up and say, 'This is how I feel on the inside about being a woman during this time' — it was incredibly healing," wrote Burch in an article on Bored Panda.
Another interesting point Burch makes in her article is that women are organizing and asking others to join them, but we rarely see just how all of that energy put towards social change manifests in that woman trying to create change. For once, we gaze into who the woman is on the inside.
Burch quoted the following excerpt from the Women's March to expand on this vision for a series that interrogates the emotional warfare in fighting for equality: "We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all … Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign."
When Burch explained why she didn't want her work to just scratch the surface, she mentioned how her vision was more about showing women themselves. With a mission to provide "a mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large," and in many ways gives you pause to reflect on what those women in the images are feeling — and what you're feeling.
"I wanted to find a way to use my embroidery art to express the deep and complex feelings many women in my life were experiencing after the recent election and the Women’s March that soon followed," wrote Burch.
Each piece goes for about $188 on Etsy, and may be money worth spending if you can see yourself or your #mood whenever someone wants to talk politics. Burch's handiwork also underscores how healing often works after experiencing trauma; making connections in people, places and even art where you are embraced with understanding and the support that acknowledges you aren't alone.