Queer Family Rugs
Hanging Installation - Degree Project
For my degree project I really wanted to push myself once again to learn a new physical process. I spent a whole semester researching and analyzing Persian rug design and history, as well as European appreciation and dissemination to the West. I then researched modern rug making and the recent popularization of the art form through media like Tiktok. I came to the conclusion that rug design was largely about storytelling, whether they be the stories woven into the rugs, or made upon them with your loved ones.
Social Justice, Installation, Typography, Textile Design, Illustration, Student Work
Tufted Rug Hanging Installation
Survey & Analysis
I wanted to be able to connect this project to something I felt passionate about but also connected to the importance of family and storytelling I learned from my research. I am a queer person so I decided that the stories I wanted to tell were those of my queer community. I was curious about how LGBTQ+ people feel about the topic of family and family values because as a community at large we have varied experiences. Whether that be with found family or their biological one. I sent a survey out and got responses from over 100 queer people from all age ranges. It was beautiful and devastating to read all of these people testimonials and I felt this project really needed to do my community justice. I'm eternally grateful for all of those wiling to be vulnerable and share their stories with me.
The final design ended up being 6 rugs strung together and hung. I wanted people to be able to walk around and see the back side as well. The front are 6 characters all representing different stories/ideas that came up in my survey. They show positive attributes like safety, comfort, acceptance, and expression. The front soft side of the rug highlights the goodness that comes from healthy family dynamics for queer people/children.
The back juxtaposes the front using text only to show the bad things that come from growing up queer in harmful family dynamics. Stories of tragedies, exclusion, repulsion, and hate from the ones that are supposed to love them. I wanted people to understand that LGBTQ+ people are multifaceted and strong. Family is important to everyone and love should not be conditional. Especially when its from your family.