The group show “Knit, Restored, Woven, Healed” at Morton’s Gallery in Washington, D.C., brings together the fiber art of four artists: Kesha Bruce, Lizette Chirrime, Maliza Kiasuwa, and Adia Millett. Spanning three continents, these artists explore themes of healing, reclamation, and the interconnectedness of identity through their unique artistic practices. The exhibition, which has been on display since May 24 and closes on June 26, offers viewers a profound experience of renewal and meaningful materiality.

Each artist brings a characteristic voice to the medium of fiber art, yet their works collectively resonate with a belief in the power of art to heal and transform. Millett’s vibrant and textured pieces weave together Black American experiences and broader notions of collective history, while Chirrime’s dynamic collages, crafted from repurposed materials, speak to African womanhood and the human condition.

Kiasuwa’s work, rooted in the techniques of her ancestors, invites rest and spiritual healing, and Bruce’s mixed-media compositions reflect a holistic creative practice developed over decades.

Here’s what the artists had to say about why you should see the show.

Kesha Bruce: A Quiet Reflection of Healing

Kesha Bruce, Lagoon
Kesha Bruce,
Lagoon, 2022.
Mixed media textile collage on canvas,
48 × 36 in.

Kesha Bruce’s work is a sanctuary of introspection and emotional resonance. Her mixed-media compositions, often resembling quilts, are patchworks of painted fabric meticulously selected from her extensive archive. Each piece embodies hours of careful treatment, resulting in a whole that surpasses the sum of its parts. Bruce believes that the energy and intent she imbues in her work can be felt by viewers, inviting them to connect with the intricate narratives embedded within each piece.

“My work has always been a place of quiet reflection and healing. There’s a part of me that deeply believes that the energy, emotion and intent I put into each work can be felt and received by the viewer. Knit, Restored, Woven, Healed will connect with viewers who are attracted to art experiences that go beyond the act of looking and who want to engage with the intricate narratives embedded in each work.”

—Kesha Bruce

Lizette Chirrime: Healing Through Dynamic Collages

Lizette Chirrime, African Single Mother
Lizette Chirrime,
African Single Mother, 2021.
Fabric and mixed media stitched on canvas,
44 × 34.5 in.

Mozambican artist Lizette Chirrime sources scrap materials from her environment to create dynamic collages that explore African womanhood and the human condition. Her work bridges the gap between textiles and abstraction, evoking a reciprocal world of self and other. Chirrime’s use of fabric as a medium for self-healing extends to the universe, offering a powerful statement on the interconnectedness of all beings.

“I use fabric to create works as a form of self-healing. And simultaneously to heal the Universe.”

—Lizette Chirrime

Maliza Kiasuwa: Resilience in Fiber and Form

Maliza Kiasuwa, Gold Bold
Maliza Kiasuwa,
Gold Bold, 2022.
Hessian, fabric, paper and stitches,
23.5 × 23.5 in.

Maliza Kiasuwa, working between Belgium and Kenya, continues the techniques practiced by her ancestors, using resonant materials to address themes of rest and spiritual healing. Her work highlights the aesthetic beauty and versatility of fiber, transforming simple textiles into profound statements on restoration and resilience. Kiasuwa’s pieces invite viewers to witness the intimate process of collage-making and appreciate the transformative power of art.

“People should come to see the ‘Knit, Restored, Woven, Healed’ exhibition at the gallery because it offers a unique and deeply engaging experience. This exhibition showcases the intimate process of collage-making with fibers, which not only highlights the aesthetic beauty and versatility of materials but also tells stories of restoration and healing, especially at this moment where we are witness to the world falling apart.

Each piece is a testament to the resilience and creativity inherent in the act of weaving and knitting, transforming simple and noble textiles into meaning creation. Visitors will leave with a renewed appreciation for the art of fiber work and a profound understanding of how art can be a medium for personal and communal healing. 

This exhibition is a celebration of craftsmanship, creativity, and the human spirit, making it a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary art and the transformative power of textiles.”

—Maliza Kiasuwa

Adia Millett: Weaving the Past and Future

Adia Millett, XY Shield
Adia Millett,
XY Shield, 2019.
Indigo dyed cotton,
upholstery fabric, cotton and silk,
42 × 42 in.

Adia Millett’s art pays homage to the past through the use of repurposed fabrics and historical iconography, while its bright, atheistic imagery looks towards the future. Millett’s work weaves threads of Black American experiences with broader ideas of identity and collective history, suggesting the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. Her vibrant and textured fragments come together to form meanings greater than their individual elements, illuminating the parallels between the creative process and personal identity.

“The value in seeing this exhibition comes from the conversation that Kesha Bruce’s, Lizette Chirrime’s, Maliza Kiasuwa’s, and my ancestors are having through our work and the process that has gotten us to this point. Artists are always in communication with each other across the globe, even when they are not conscious of it. We are sharing stories, whether through our materials, pallets, language, symbols, etc. As we make art, we are unpacking a gift; we only have to be awake enough to see what is revealed. In my eyes, everything we create is a product of healing and connection.

A curator who cares, cares not only about the art, but the voice of the artist, and can bring the dialogue into a space to share with us all.”

—Adia Millett

For more information, please visit the gallery’s website.

Featured image by:
Maliza Kiasuwa
Gold 2, 2021
Handmade paper, lace and stitches
29.5 x 16 in.