PHOTO: Shrine to the Gerberas, in the collection of Nora Jones, is a small art quilt designed for Tote Tuesday, Virginia Spiegel's 2010 online auction to benefit the American Cancer Society.
May 1, 2010 my new show will open at the Universalist Unitarian Church Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There will be approximately 25 pieces in the exhibit—all based on childhood memories.
The exhibit is a tribute to my mom, who passed away May 23, 2009.
As an only child, I was often in situations where the grown-ups were doing or saying something “important” and I had to be quiet. This was not easy! About the age of 5, I began telling myself stories, making up songs, or carrying on conversations with some wonderful creature to entertain myself.
The pieces in this exhibit are snippets of those occasions, as I remember them.
PHOTO: Whispers On The Wind started it all. This small art quilt will debut in the Rust-Tex Collection exhibit at Quilt Festival in Chicago April 16–18.
Each piece begins as a memory fragment, such as Whispers On The Wind, above. One spring day my grandmother, mother, and I went to the farm of a relative to see the spring wildflowers in the woods. I was mesmerized by the delicate shapes and colors of the various blossoms, but was disappointed when Grandmother said they couldn't go home with us: “They’d be unhappy away from their home in the woods and would die.”
I quickly grew bored of looking at flowers that wouldn’t be in a vase in my room and wandered off, sat on a log, and imagined I could hear fairy voices on the wind. Their voices were soft as whispers and they spoke in a strange language.
How do you design a visual of a memory? For me, digital collage was the answer. I could combine elements extracted from photos and clip art to express the feeling experienced in that one moment so long ago.
Hand beading and stitching will complete the composition, which will then be hung by a free-form hanger made from cold-forged refrigerator tubing from a retired refrigerator (this suggestion from my friend and long-time colleague Barbara Matthiessen).