Along the pricked line

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de Silva, Durga
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Abstract In my thesis work, using expressive gestures, feminist theory and embroidery, I have explored experiences of immigrant women and their continuous struggle to thrive in a new homeland. My work is informed by my experiences as a first generation immigrant woman from Sri Lanka as well as my awareness and experiences of other immigrant women’s experiences from other countries. Although some women have lesser challenges, most immigrant women struggle to thrive in unfamiliar surroundings. This struggle has been a recurring theme in immigrant women’s lives throughout history, and women continue to go through immense hardships in trying to merge into a new society. While still daydreaming of their motherlands, most immigrant women suffer emotionally and psychologically due to lack of extended family support, education, finances, language skills, social and work skills, as well as tensions between traditional and cultural expectations. In spite of these obstacles immigrant women continuously make an effort to reclaim their strength and power. With advances in education and life experiences some of these difficult issues are fading away in my life, although, sometimes they do haunt me. In my artwork I have explored these common experiences and challenges overcome by me as well as other immigrant women through feminist theory, drawing and sculptural techniques and used embroidery, sewing and stitching to bring them to life. I hope to generate awareness through my artwork of women’s experiences that will influence the changes that contribute the empowerment of women.
immigrant, experience, women's, embroidery