Brigitte Grover is an interdisciplinary artist from Baltimore, MD. She works primarily with photography, textiles, video, and books. She enjoys the process of sewing because she sees the process as a way of healing, mending, and meditating.
As an artist, I’m interested in intimacy and vulnerability, and I found art as a way to tell my story and my experience when I didn’t feel like I had a voice. Through art, I have found ways to express and work through my personal traumas, as most of my art centers around that theme. Title here is a project that started in the fall of 2020, when I noticed that as the pandemic continued on, I would continually have vivid nightmares. This project started as a way to assuage my fears as my nightmares represented imagery of my deepest fears, such as not being in control of myself, having my teeth fall out, or going back to my middle school (yikes). Ultimately, the project grew into something more meaningful for me. Through research and other methods, I started discovering the link between my nightmares and my trauma. Sewing these symbols from my nightmares has given me a tool to mend my fears and, by extension, my trauma.
I think there is something empowering about turning symbols of something terrifying into something real and tangible that you can then control. It helps take away the fear and feelings of helplessness and in turn leads to processing and healing. Sewing is the act of mending fabrics, so by creating these pillows I am by extension mending my inner self. With my thesis, I am inviting people to come into my vulnerable space and interact with these symbols. I want the space I create to become a place of comfort, while still existing as a space of distress, which the bed has come to represent for me. The bed becomes an altar where the objects that come from trauma exist in a space of comfort. It becomes a safe, healing space to interact with trauma through ownership thus taking away the power trauma has over the unconscious mind. The trauma no longer exists as just a looming presence in my mind but has become a soft, almost comforting object in the real world that I can manipulate.