Dowling’s two panel work All-or-nothing thinking examines the psychological concept of ‘Splitting’; a common defense mechanism and unconscious process whereby a person views themselves and their life in extremes. The embroidered text and the use of contrasting black and white materials speak to the polarization of this type of thinking. Dowling utilizes the practice of hand embroidery as a bodily act of unlearning. With every stitch, she works to unravel the self-harming notion of perfectionism, and does the slow work of emotional repair.
Amelia Dowling, All-or-nothing thinking, 2019, hand embroidery, linen, cotton, wood, acrylic paint, 85 x 60cm