Working through Confusion

By Agusta Agustsson | September 9, 2020

In March when all was confusion and uncertainty I began hand stitching small six-inch pieces. Stitching by hand is rhythmic, like breathing. The pieces reflected my thoughts and experiences in the early months of the pandemic. I walked every day in the Middlesex Fells. The reappearance of young plants as the spring took hold was reflected in some pieces. My memories of far off places appeared in others. I stitched and stitched, making emotional sense of what was happening. Other pieces were creating order out of chaos. They were a journal of sorts.


“Isolation,” fiber, 39″x 39″ (2020)

As the crisis continued I felt the need to tell a larger story. I began seeing disposable masks hung from trees like some bizarre ornament. Plastic gloves were carelessly discarded. The pandemic seemed to give people an excuse to go back to plastic polluting habits. While these thoughts were mulling around in my brain a small package of masks arrived at my house courtesy of the mayor of my town. I print my fabrics using found and discarded objects. This gift seemed providential. I could use the masks to print up new fabrics. I combined the use of refuse with the circles that appeared in my previous work. Circles enclose, but they also exclude. What goes inside and outside of our pandemic circles. The pieces that were left became a Covidian vocabulary sampler.

“Pandemic,” fiber, 39”x53” (2020)


“Social Distance,” fiber, 46”x40” (2020)


“Pandemic Sampler,” fiber, 13.5”x13.5” (2020)

This piece takes the shape of a Japanese doorway curtain. Life could not stay stuck forever. There was no miracle coming. It was time to assess my own risks and throw off the fog and hopeless feelings of the early spring. It was time to walk through the pandemic curtain and see what was on the other side.

“Passage Through” fiber, 61”x29” 2020)

Copyright © 2020 Agusta Agustsson
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  1. Denise on September 9, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Beautiful work!!!

    • Agusta on September 9, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks so much

  2. Martha Fairbank on September 9, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Just beautiful Augusta! And , I loved reading about the process too

    • Agusta on September 9, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      Maybe I can show you in person some day!

  3. Sandra on September 9, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Great job, girl! We who love to stay in the studio and work are not so much confused by the pandemic as much as ‘what should I create first’!

    • AGUSTA AGUSTSSON on September 10, 2020 at 10:48 am

      Someday we’ll meet in a real place.

  4. Gary Diapasquale on September 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    These pieces say it all… in Your very personal voice..
    Just goes to show “ you can make a sows ear into a silk purse”…. or quilt !!

    • AGUSTA AGUSTSSON on September 10, 2020 at 10:50 am

      Thanks. Still making pieces from the scraps of fabric I printed in May.

  5. Frances V. Gedzium on September 9, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Augusta I am such a fan of your work…. I love how your mind takes issues of the day and turns it into art while still conveying the message. So glad I know you.

    • AGUSTA AGUSTSSON on September 10, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Thanks, Frances. The piece “Pandemic ” is in Lubbock, TX for and SDA show Mandatory Colors.

  6. Sue Polansky on September 10, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I really like this new work of yours! Transforming materials, thoughts, emotions makes for powerful work, and you were open to making that happen.

    • AGUSTA AGUSTSSON on September 10, 2020 at 10:54 am

      Wow. Thanks for those kind words. Trying to respond to the times without getting stuck in the times.

  7. Nilou M. on September 16, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Stunning! I love the play of colors on all of these pieces. And the seamless way you have connected disparate elements. Just gorgeous!

    • Agusta Agustsson on September 16, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks for your observations.

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