Portfolio > Lavender Shrine

Queer Shroud Grid: Lavender Scare
Solarfast dye, cyanotype, Lavender
A Spell to Rename the James Webb Telescope
Nautical Telescope,Mirror, Jar, candel.
Lavender Lad
Solarfast Dye on Cotton
Tiffany Window
Solarfast Dye on Cotton, cyanotype, paper, leather, pink candles.
Tiffany Windows
Solarfast Dye on Cotton

In Lavender Shrine, I explore the history of the Lavender Scare, a Cold War-era moral panic targeting gay and lesbian employees in the federal workforce. In a new
series created for the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington SOLOS 2022, I juxtaposed images of the Museum's Tiffany
windows with images drawn from the Lavender Scare period, connecting the funerary nature of my ongoing Queer Shrouds project to the history of the windows.
120 of my queer shrouds filled one wall of the gallery. Incorporating images drawn from vintage gay porn and other queer archives, the work highlights the existence of queer networks and underground communities, the very groups the Lavender Scare moral panic targeted. Other pieces incorporate news coverage related to the investigations and purges, evoking the atmosphere of fear, paranoia, and secrecy they created. In contrast, references to groundbreaking gay rights activist Frank Kameny and early gay rights organization the
Mattachine Society pay homage to the individuals who faced down the moral panic.
Lavender itself is included in multiple pieces, reclaiming and embracing the moral panic’s titular plant. Accumulated in front of Queer Shroud Grid: Lavender Scare, the lavender’s abundant presence is both funereal and defiant. It honors the past, creates beauty in the present, and
builds strength for the future.