Deborah-Koenker-Visual-Artist-Vancouver_Textile-Art_Dont

Don't

2003-2004


This piece, enigmatic and cathartic, points to the many instances where we are told Don’t by parents, partners, bosses, friends, and ourselves; and the many times we say it to others.  Also referencing the veil, or burka, Don’t consists of 18 metres of black silk, pleated and hung through a small hoop;  relentlessly machine-embroidered in bumblebee yellow across the silk, it forms a mute yet eloquent column, a distillation of negativity. Machine embroidered on black duppioni silk, this work is circled at the base by a huge braid of bicycle tires and rubber-wrapped shoes, punctuated with yellow fake-flowers. 

There is a lineage between this work and Yoko Ono’s early piece, composed of a ladder with a magnifying glass hanging above it, and the word yes in tiny letters on the ceiling.  When John Lennon first experienced this work he reported trepidation at what might be at the top of the ladder, only to experience a huge sense of relief at the word yes.