Mary Corey March

Self Location

Mixed Media: Embroidery on computer-printed linen and silk organsa, map pins. 5'x 5' (2013)


The piece tracks my travel and experiences hunting the northern lights through Norway and Sweden. Embroidery has recorded personal and national histories since the Bayeux tapestry. It is also a much more intimate and painstaking method of record-making than the current online formats. Text done with the human hand also gives so much more information than the letters alone- individuality, emotion, and state of mind come through that would be lost in a digital type format. At the same time I am including references to the digital online experience within the piece as part of our undeniable constant interaction with it.

One detail image gives you a peek at the inclusion of online elements. I find that even when using computers less and being somewhat more “off the grid” and working by hand computers and the internet seem to maintain a background presence at all times now. They are a huge part of how we locate ourselves in the world both physically and socially.

The transparent layer is a traditional road-map and the top layer of my own experiences is in hand embroidery.

In another detail of the embroidered text you can get an idea of the effect that emotion can have on even the same person’s hand-writing (mine in this case). Each postcard-sized print was a location we stopped at. These two were a strong contrast in experiences and the contrast comes out in the writing.