Monday, October 15, 2012


Creationist.  Stitched words: Darwin is wrong. Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand embroidery and beading. 25" x 19" unframed; 31" x 25" framed.  Click on image to enlarge.

Controversy is an inherent part of the Decision Portrait Series. The artwork, as a whole, addresses various issues to which most individuals respond with emotional, traumatic, and adamant feelings. The series presents many decisions in a straightforward way, without value judgment. These decisions are often confrontational. These decisions seem to jump off the fabric and ask the viewer questions: What would you do? How would you react to someone who made a decision that you wouldn't make? This is intentional. After all, what is "right" for one person isn't necessarily "right" for another. What one person elects to do is a personal choice. How one person reacts is also a personal choice.

The personal choice in this portrait deals with Darwin's theory of evolution. Laurel Siler ( has weighed the evidence, educated herself with the facts and the theories, and decided that DARWIN IS WRONG. Laurel is a creationist. That isn't to say that she believes in the Biblical "seven day" period.... a week of twenty-four hour planet rotations.... as the time line for the entire creation of the universe. She simply doesn't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. For Laurel, there's a sentence that runs through her mind every time this issue arises: "It's no accident".

While stitching this piece, I thought about my own education. Sure, I was taught that evolution was a THEORY. I was also taught the definition of a THEORY. Yet, I was presented the evolution material in a convincing way.... as if a FACT, not a THEORY. I've never doubted its accuracy. I cannot imagine what I might think if "theory" was really stressed in grade school while evolution was being taught.

I admire Laurel's examination of these ideas and her willingness to share her believes. I admire her strength of character and the many insightful probes her convictions have provided. I hope those seeing the portraits in upcoming exhibitions are mentally challenged by the diversity of decisions portrayed. This portrait is most assuredly thought provoking...which is exactly what I hoped the entire series would do!

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