Fibre/Art Quilt. 2020
This art quilt was created using a digitally altered watercolor painting that was printed on fabric. I used fabric appliqué, machine quilting and hand embroider, and a handmade Navajo medicine wheel to finish the work.
This was the first quilt made in this series. I was helping to prepare for a mask drive for the local Native American Nations in Colorado.
As a long time photographer, COVID19 changed my creative direction. Staying safe at home meant that I was able to explore other mediums in which I previously only dabbled. As I began to focus on the art quilt, I found an older set of watercolor paintings inspired by Picasso's Weeping Women. I originally painted them during the time of the attacks of 9/11, the same day my youngest child turned a year old. Thinking about the world in which she would grow up, had a profound affect on my priorities and creative pursuits. The Weeping Women that Picasso made while preparing to paint the Guernica, expressed of the emotional rawness I was experiencing in 2000.
Twenty years later, COVID19 has brought its own challenges, and I began to reflect on how the human spirit continues to endure. While Picasso's paintings depicted women as victims and illustrated their emotions from a very male point of view, I decided that I wanted my weeping women to reflect a more empowered female perspective. I found it interesting to take a traditional medium, where it was acceptable for women to quietly and rigidly express themselves, and blow up the rules to speak loudly of the feminine spirit. I changed the painted portraits to reflect a modern woman's mindset: unafraid to speak out and show our scars. We will not be kept boxed in by time honored rules, and we will not sit quietly by as victims any longer. I have juxtaposed a traditional medium with a feminist voice, using the art quilt to create a series of portraits that depict a diverse group of women who have survived, and continue to thrive, despite any tragic circumstances of our past or present. With old scars and wrinkles of time our beauty is not conventional, but our strength and perseverance is captivating.