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Caroline Wayne explores an ugly history of abuse through the beauty of embroidery

Rounded soft felt forms are adorned with sequins, pearls, beads, packed and overlapping like armor. Thumb tacks, pointed side up in a mechanism of defense. Scenes scroll around the circumference of objects like ancient storytelling vessels, depicting distant memories and dreams in which the artist’s own history of sexual trauma is examined. 

Grown Cyclone, the second solo exhibition for Brooklyn-based embroidery artist Caroline Wayne will open at A.I.R Gallery on November 15.

Within each sculpture’s apparent beauty, a laborious process, emotional and psychic efforts illustrates Wayne’s lifelong efforts to reshape and help process a complicated and traumatic past. She aims to bring awareness to the suffering a body can accumulate over time through onerous mark-making.Through the artist’s own cyclical path through healing, she aims to acknowledge the overlooked stories of trauma survivors, where the pain may lay not in the traumatic event itself but in the way one has to navigate their world for a lifetime after.

In Grown Cyclone, Wayne constructs an immersive environment in which one can examine the emotional, psychological, and vibrational labor expended in order to survive life after trauma. Along with several new embroidered totem pieces, the artist has developed full-scale wall drawings, and an unflinching mini memoir detailing tales of sex, dating, and love based on common patterns of trauma bonding. This book, also titled Grown Cyclone will be on view in the gallery.

“The fact was that everyone I’d been involved with, since my first attempt at coupling with boys in grade school to the last sociopath I fucked, in one way or another resembled my father…I was set spinning on this path of intimate self-sabotage since the very first time my father inappropriately touched me while I lay helpless on the changing table..” Excerpt from Caroline Wayne’s Book, Grown Cyclone, on display  and available for purchase during  the show.

Caroline Wayne is a fiber artist and narrative essayist living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA in fiber and material studies at the Chicago Institute of Art, and was awarded a Fellowship at AIR Gallery in 2018. Her work is currently on display at The Wing locations was recently included in the Phillip Johnson Glass House annual summer gala. Wayne is also a professional couture milliner.

See her show at A.I.R Gallery, Friday November 15th, 6 – 8PM at 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

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