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“The stories you tell are your life, the stories you don’t tell control you.”

The text for this piece came from a zine by Laura Garland called Pansy #8. The phrase resonated deeply with me and I knew I wanted to make a piece of work about it. I read this quote once that said that the closer the way peopled perceive you is to what’s actually going on for you on the inside, the easier life is. I’ve wasted a lot of time over the years pretending to be okay and can vouch for it being exhausting so what Laura said really struck a chord with me.

I had a few different ideas about how to go about turning the phrase into a piece of art but when I found this sewing box in “Past Caring” on Essex Road, I knew I’d found an answer. I liked how it had a history of its own, how it was kind of ugly on the outside and almost casket-like on the inside. It was unwanted.

I embroidered the lid with “the stories you tell are your life” using cross stitch and made an opening tab with “the stories you don’t tell control you” emblazoned on it. In a funny sense, this project was a weird form of upcycling with a reflective atmosphere. At the moment its empty. Past Caring sometimes sell sewing boxes that still have the previous owner’s sewing supplies inside. I half wonder about filling it with one of these collections as a sort of motivational twist but that feels kind of false somehow so for now its going to have to live with its creepily empty innards.

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