The history of textiles is complex and fascinating. For thousands of years, the production and decoration of cloth has served as the foundation of empires, a motivation for espionage, and a reflection of technological progress. In contrast to these momentous purposes, textiles have also always functioned as evidence of daily life, as in the forms of containers, clothing, and bedding. And of course, as the supports for paintings and in the art of embroidery, they are ever-present at the heights of creative expression and technical skill. As such, Sieh views textiles as symbolic of the human experience–from the mundane through the contentious and the benevolent to the sublime.
In her work Sieh both draws from and builds on this rich history. The artist finds inspiration in the allure of pattern, the weight of progress, and the persistence of memory. She utilizes techniques from the traditions of quiltmaking, embroidery, and crochet as well as those of painting, drawing, and interactivity. With these methods and motivations, she act as an excavator of culture–sifting through past human endeavors, behaviors, and objects to illustrate meaningful connections, much as others sift through layers of soil to discover valuable facts about that past.