Shroud for Soul Murderers
A project about sexual violence
In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, a French revolutionary secretly records a list of people to be killed, by continually encoding names into her knitting. When asked by police what the mysterious object she’s making is, she answers “a shroud”.
Instead of political enemies, my ongoing project Shroud for Soul Murderers will record, in textile form, the names of rapists, child abusers, and spouse batterers. The title of the work refers both to the literary detail described above and to the term that playwright Henrik Ibsen defined as “the destruction of the love of life in another human being.”
Because victims of sexual and domestic violence frequently experience extreme difficulty in publicly sharing their experience—let alone naming their abuser—the names recorded in Shroud for Soul Murderers will be encoded, unable to be read visually as text.
In its final form as a site-specific installation, the piece will function, metaphorically, as a final resting place for those who have caused irreparable harm; a testament to the experience of those who have suffered at their hands; and an opportunity to learn more about trauma.
If you would like to share a name and/or your story for the project, please email me at: