Abi Mallick was born in Alabama, raised in New Jersey, received a B.A. from Evergreen State in Olympia, Washington, and an M.S.S.W. from U.T. Austin. She has been block printing and screen printing since high school. She started experimenting with fiber art as an adult in order to de-stress after work. Stitching and beading has become a meditative practice for her, to process thoughts and ground her emotions.
My work explores personal and societal traumas, the mechanisms by which they occur, and how trauma and trauma recovery manifest in the body and the brain.
Embroidery and fiber arts are associated with the home, the personal, the intimate. In my work, however, I use bold shapes, bright colors, wild, messy shading, and grotesque forms to expand fiber arts out to political and societal realms. This mirrors my belief that trauma recovery should not be held close and secret, but should be shared; healing alongside others, openly, can lead to both personal and societal transformation.
Objectifying ourselves and others allows us to exploit individuals and societies. Objectifying the earth allows us to exploit and abuse it, to ignore the fact that we are dependent on it for life and culture. Coming together as communities and bringing trauma recovery out into the open helps us love ourselves and others as full interdependent beings.
Trauma recovery, like stitching and beading, happens slowly and mindfully. For me, the repetitive meditation of stitch is my way of processing, connecting, and growing.