Elizabeth Henderson

BFA - Studio Art  |  Chilhowie, VA

Lessons in Coping is a series of three sculptures that utilizes fiber art techniques to investigate various coping mechanisms. Quilted, hand-knit, and crochet elements are combined with plaster cast hands to provide snapshots into select overwhelming moments of anxious individuals. Three common habitual behaviors are demonstrated within this series: rambling / repeating actions, self-doubt, and self-isolation. 


This series stems from personal coping mechanisms that I rely on often to dispel anxious thoughts and physical reactions to anxiety, such as trembling hands and stuttering in my speech. I approached each sculpture with meticulous planning and took care to involve meditative fiber techniques that involve repetitive actions. These repetitions of stitches and construction relate themselves to a calm mental state for me, allowing the processes to be completed confidently without self-doubt. Shell and The Rambler focus heavily on the reliance of this comfort in exposed environments. Meanwhile, Comfort Zone inverts the typical soft materials of a quilt with wood to form a solid barrier between the concealed form and those around it, emphasizing the meditative benefits of having a defined personal space.

Elizabeth Henderson

© 2020 by Virginia Tech School of Visual Arts