Socrates stated that the unexamined life is not worth living. Many go through life conforming to the ideas that society has imposed upon us, ideas that define for the norm what is good and right, and what is corrupt and erroneous. My interest lies primarily in the manipulation of textiles in the service of subverting popular notions about the medium and my chosen subject matter. In my series of urban needlepoint studies, I have sought to shed new light on urban blight by translating its compositional and textural properties to a folk medium with little history for embracing dystopian ideas. It is my hope that this juxtaposition will transform the audience’s perception of both and help them to see true beauty in what would otherwise be dismissed as banal. Jacquelyn Royal is an artist and professor of the humanities living and working from Saratoga Springs, New York. Her work in textiles has been exhibited and published internationally.