Woven Heart Spots: A Visual Collection of Memories from Paonia, CO
“Woven Heart Spots” is a visual collection of stories and memories from Paonia, Colorado translated into woven and silkscreened fabrics. The collection explores the role of stories and memories as they relate to the collective consciousness of a community. Who “owns” stories? How are narratives created around specific locations? What gives a place it’s meaning? Every location holds different narratives for different people. What would happen if every time you pass a particular location you thought not only your own experiences and associations there but of others’ as well? "Woven Heart Spots" explores what happens when people’s personal stories about a place are released into the collective consciousness of this place through storytelling.
I interviewed and talked with over fifteen residents of Paonia, Colorado about their stories and memories of the town. These people represented a variety of lifestyles, beliefs, and ages. Some grew up in Paonia in the 40's and 50's, while others have moved to the town within the last year. I translated peoples' stories, photos, and written words into silkscreened and woven fabrics that allow the stories to travel from a verbal world to a visual one and from individuals to a community. The pieces were displayed at the Blue Sage Center For The Arts as well as the Paonia Public Library. The shows included an audio tour in which viewers could listen to residents telling their stories while looking at the pieces inspired by them, an informal storytelling circle, and an interactive "Storytelling Corner" where anyone could write or draw their own stories about Paonia and pin them to a board for others to see. After the shows the pieces will be given back to those who told the stories. The project was funded in part by the North Fork Valley Heart and Soul Project.