There is a certain feeling that is conjured when you are at a stranger’s house looking at family photos adorning foreign walls. The poses are familiar—grandma with grand kids, a photo of uncles, kids playing in a plastic pool—and this confuses the mind because your mind finds these people familiar strangers. I get a similar feeling when viewing Christina Miglino’s embroidered artwork. Inspired by symmetry, geometry and story, much of Miglino’s artwork is created through a slow process of embroidering old photos. The subjects are often black and white and Maglino’s interaction with them weaves new life and meaning in them, while preserving the moment they already encapsulate.
Miglino’s operates under the nom de artiste The Conjure Movement. Her work stands out in a field of artists trying to stand out. There is feeling layered in her work. The pieces bypass the frenzy of being new and different by approaching creation from a new and different angel. When I met up with her at a bar in Denver, she thought that maybe the reason that no one else is doing work like hers was because of how painstakingly slow the process of creation is—it can take 24 hours just to create a 5 x 7 piece. For her, the time is meditation and the result unpredicted due the intuition nature she lends to the act of her creation.
The artistic background she had going into this work that she started six years ago was fertile ground for an artist. She lived in New York and San Francisco, lived in an art collective, danced and choreographed shows. In her scene, most of the people around her were making visual art, so picking it up was as natural as picking up guitar in a flat full of singer song/writers.
Her artwork is a way for the present to interact with the past and leads viewers to meditate on the meaning of this interaction. Viewers cannot identify the people in the pieces, but they can identify with them, and this identification with others is one of the reasons we make and consume art. It’s exciting work, that you can follow through the Conjure Movement’s Instagram.