Part of the “Anxiety” series by quilter Judy Kirpich, “Ensnared” evokes the horrors of modern slavery, conveying the tension of being trapped, both physically and emotionally, and captures the global nature of human trafficking. “Ensnared” uses rusted hand dyed fabrics using quilting techniques. With bits of steel wool and wire, the artist utilizes a rough texture to capture the feeling of barbed wire without being literal. The slash and stitch technique, where the artist cuts repeatedly through the assembled fabric, expresses anxiety and anger, which mirrors the artist’s feelings regarding enslaved labor and sex exploitation. The lines cut through each other making a dense maze that is vaguely in the shape of a globe and circular stitching in the center of the piece echoes this shape. The piece is intentionally somber and for the most part monochromatic.

“I love the juxtaposition of spontaneity and precision. To get a composition to look free flowing and gestural demands great control and exactness. This is my holy grail and I still have not cracked that nut. But I continue to try.” ~Judy Kirpich, Artist/Quilter