The remarkable story of “outsider” artist Judith Scott, who was institutionalized for more than thirty years before being reunited with her sister
From birth, fraternal twins Judith and Joyce Scott lived as if they
were one person in two bodies, understanding instinctively what the
other wanted and felt, despite the fact that Judy had Down
syndrome, profound deafness, and never learned to speak or sign.
But this idyllic childhood of color, texture, and feeling ended
abruptly when, at age seven, Judy was taken from their shared bed
while Joyce slept, not knowing that the wholeness they had known
was being shattered.
For the next three decades, Joyce is left without her other half
and must grieve unexpected loss while navigating her relationship
with an emotionally distant mother—alone. Even so, her life
parallels her twin’s in surprising ways. While in college, Joyce
too is sent away, pressured to relinquish the secret daughter she
bore in hiding to adoption.
Decades later, Joyce resolves to reunite with her sister and fill
their remaining years with joy. After overcoming legal hurdles to
become Judy’s legal guardian, she enrolls her in an art center for
adults with disabilities in Oakland, California. Judy is hesitant
at first, but after two years of uninterested painting and drawing,
her untapped creativity suddenly ignites when she is introduced to
fiber art, and she begins carefully and intentionally winding yarn
and other materials around combinations of found objects. With
unflagging intensity, Judy works five days a week for the next
eighteen years, producing more than two-hundred astoundingly
diverse fiber sculptures. Unconcerned with her growing fame, she
remains fully immersed in her artistic vision until her death in
2005. Today, Judith Scott’s work is displayed in museums and
galleries around the world, in some of the most prestigious
collections of contemporary art.
Entwined is a penetrating personal narrative that explores a
complex world of disability, loss, reunion, and the resiliency of
the human spirit. Part memoir, part biography, Entwined is a
poignant and astonishing story about sisters finding their voices
in each other’s love and through art.