“I’m not creating art for art’s sake, but art with a social purpose and function…”
Most familiar in the context of traditional American samplers, cross-stitch is laden with connotations of the woman’s role in the home as mother, wife and caretaker. To challenge and expand that role, Katrina Majkut introduces images of women’s reproductive health, symbols of the contemporary woman’s ability to take control of her body, her rights and her future. What once may have depicted bible verse or family lineage, Majkut’s 21st century “samplers” elevate products that allow for reproductive freedom. Her feminist approach to a stereotypically “feminine” craft embraces women’s history while forging ahead.
in her words
“I think it’s important to be open-minded when it comes to what cross-stitch is as a medium and social art. Cross-stitch can be so much more than its stereotype as a domestic, lowbrow, folk craft, or one that’s limited to asserting outdated ideas of what it means to be a woman. It deserves more respect than it typically gets.”
“In my experience most viewers have very pre-formulated, subjective opinions about certain reproductive products without any direct personal experience or sometimes proper health education. I’m very honest in depicting the products as they are; whatever bias it carries is brought by the individual viewer. It’s important to understand that all these products provide a basic medical and biological need for women – there is no reason for this preset bias. The debate over reproductive healthcare comes down to the fact that some people don’t separate the physical needs of a woman with how they think she should conduct herself as one. My cross-stitch aims to eliminate this unfair gender bias as a way to better understand modern women’s needs and to increase the viewer’s acceptance of the necessity for reproductive freedoms.”
Katrina Majkut is located in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Babson College, Wellesley, MA, and a Post-baccalaureate certificate and an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University. Founder of The Feminist Bride, Majkut writes, lectures and exhibits regularly on the topic of women and feminism.