Beyond Midlife: What’s Lost, What’s Gained

Both works Philomela’s Thread and Unspooling, generate narratives about women’s life experiences as they age. Download PDF Brochure.


Unspooling is a series of textile wall sculptures that concentrate on the soft power of craft to portray an aging woman’s increasing vulnerabilities. It uses yarn as a metaphor for her life story and its inevitable unraveling. The yarn travels from one sculpture to another representing the lived messiness of resilience, acceptance, grief and loss that women experience as they age. Read more.

“In an era in which people actually live longer and longer, what now amounts to the latter two-thirds of everyone’s life is shadowed by a poignant apprehension of unremitting loss.”

— Susan Sontag
Philomela’s Thread: A Commonplace Book

A thread pulled from the tapestry made by Philomela who was brutally silenced, snakes its way from one collage to another, curling itself into each pair and binding them together. Each printed image is an abstraction of a psychological state and they are connected by a hand drawn orange line which transforms into phrases of quiet resistance. A single channel video resides amongst the images, whose words like the pictures weave a narrative about love and loss. Like Ovid’s Philomela we have learned to speak in a thousand different ways and in the early modern period women compiled commonplace books, also known as miscellanies in which they gathered their daily lives. In these books women, practiced writing and embroidery stitches, they copied poems and kept their correspondence, household inventories, and recipes. In these books, they kept what was important and assembled a sense of themselves through what they wrote and chose to remember.