My Eyes are Down Here

You can’t look away. I’ll make it easy for you.

Headless, hand-woven female bodies wait in the gallery. The ladies proudly look back at objectifying eyes. These women won’t be objects of desire. Embroidered eyes glare from breasts and loins and ovaries -- their faces wouldn’t be seen anyway. Gaze. In the pressure cooker of the gallery, pride, not shame; strength, not fear. Gender power is symmetric here.

Out-of-place eyes and domineering arrows direct the viewer to improper places without wasting any time, away from the missing brain. Or is her brain elsewhere? Identity is forced to become the body.

The walls will be lined with body-costumes, female figures draped on coat hangers. Fallopian pillows will border the walls. Sewn-on eyes will look back at viewers, daring them to protest.

Look at her and slur. Look into my eyes. Wait, you already are. You can’t look away.


Juliet Martin mixes tradition with experimentation in funny and ironic handwoven sculptural memoirs. She promotes intimacy with the audience by speaking with satire and humor about personal experiences. Her raw truths confronts the viewer: “Must I remember their faces?” In her work, she applies the Japanese philosophy of SAORI. With its Zen mindset, SAORI encourages freeform work—no patterns, no rules, no mistakes. Every sculpture is an improvisation in awkward beauty: clumpy fabric, fighting colors, rough and smooth textures, ragged edges. By approaching weaving as both craft and fine art, she shows that questioning the intention can bring you solutions that are unique to the medium.

You will see her when you see her work.