'Push|Pull' is a small art book project in which flesh and matter of the flesh (veins, pores, blood, follicles, hair, moles, and scars) are evoked through paper and thread. It is bound in brown and beige leather and pleather stitched like different coloured skins grafted together. Inside the book is a collection of brown and beige paper adorned with various stitched patterns, shapes, and textures. The colours of the thread woven through each page are shades of brown, beige, crimson, green, and blue, alluding to the colours of flesh and hair. The size of the book is modelled after my private childhood diaries, in which the events of each day were recounted, gossip was shared and analysed, and secrets were written down for no one but me to see. Unlike my private diaries, however, 'Push|Pull uses tension, tangles, braids, and knots to reveal and conceal information, rather than words. Thread replaces writing, sublimating traumatic impact into tactile patterns that performatively weave across each page of this book.
Through the effects of repressed trauma, I often find language regarding my trauma leaves me. My tongue reaches out and grabs at emptiness trying to find the words that explain what has happened to me and what is happening to me as a result. 'Push|Pull' poetically evokes the process of trying to find words for my experiences of repressed trauma. The threads knotted, stretched, and braided across each page are a performative sublimation of repressed trauma—a tactile naming of the experience.