Jessica Gritton is a fiber artist based in Austin, Texas. She works with traditional forms of cross stitch, embroidery, and appliqué, using them as a place to render her emotions and experiences as a transgender woman. She has a particular interest in the history of embroidery and how the art form has been used both to construct and to subvert notions of the feminine and how that tension between construction and subversion is reflected in her own life.
Embroidery has a long history as a tool for instilling “proper” femininity in a subject while also being used as a means for subverting those same expectations. I’ve found it to be a rich medium for exploring the ways I labor to construct an identity as a transgender woman that incorporates gendered expectations while at the same time subverting them in ways that can be dangerous. My work documents the construction of that identity by combining elements and forms with rich histories in ways that reflect my efforts to orient myself in this world.