Inez Harwood, 36, said the word “dying” holds two meanings for her: her love for art and her love for life.
”When you die or are going to die the things that are most important to you become so pronounced,” Inez said.
Inez, her husband Jerel, and their two children were in a car accident in Oregon nine years ago. The accident left Inez with a traumatic brain injury.
“My head went out the sunroof and made contact with the road several times,” she said. “I kept waking up and talking to paramedics.”
At the hospital, doctors said her prognosis was grim. Her family was called in to say their final goodbyes. Inez said her son, Faythe, held her hand and in that moment things changed.
“That was really the moment I decided I was going to live,” Inez said.
Doctors said Inez would never walk or talk again. They advised against her going to college.
Still, Inez enrolled at Utah Valley University in 2007. She is on the brink of graduating this May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts.
Creating the world’s longest tie-dye was a dare by her son and it turned into her senior project.
But the project wouldn’t come without challenges. Inez said her traumatic brain injury left her with a short term memory that lasts about two weeks.
“It’s great for people who have fights with me because I’ll forget and I’ll forgive you,” she joked.
The year long art project was documented in journals. At times, Inez would forget she had bought materials and parts of the coloring process are vague.
“We were able to go back and look at the journal and I was able to catch up very quickly,” she said.
Tie-dying has become therapeutic for Inez. For a woman who has overcome so much, she has not taken a single minute of it for granted.
The world record for the longest tie-dye is currently held by people in Japan and measures at 2,739 feet. Inez said her project measures 3,153 feet long, which would easily shatter the record.
The tie-dye project will be displayed at the Woodbury Art Museum in University Mall. Inez dreams of displaying it at the Guggenheim in New York City.