Monday, October 21, 2013

Ancestor Wall and an art quilt show for Harriet Tubman

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Once Upon a Time She Was the Belle of the Ball. Click on any image in this blog post for an enlargement.)

I've finished the pieces for a new installation, Ancestor Wall.  This will be shown at the Tapps Art Center during November and December.  Unfortunately, I'll miss the November reception during the monthly "First Thursday" art crawl but I'm looking forward to December's event.  All the photos are antique and vintage with collaged letters clipped mostly from 1920-40s sheet music and other antiquarian publications.  I really enjoyed transforming each anonymous photo into a thought-provoking little work of art.  Individually, I know these aren't that much ... just a few pasted letters, a suggested phrase, a thought.  Collectively, however, they should have quite an impact ... a wall of family pictures ... as if treasured relics ... as if lasting memories from older generations ... as if remembered ... but with words that state otherwise.    

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Anonymous Family Heirloom.)

Some are in vintage frames.  Most are in scraps of leftover moulding from our picture framing business.  I tried to use pieces with distressed surfaces and faux-antique finishes. I even found some mat boards that I marbled years ago ... perfect for an old-fashioned look!  Some are now framed with heavily pitted and wavy antique glass.  The first eighteen pieces for this installation were shared last week.  CLICK HERE for that blog post.  The rest are further down this blog entry.

(Above:  Marlene O'Bryant-Seabrook and her art quilt at Benedict College's Ponder Art Gallery during the opening reception of Harriet Tubman in South Carolina.)

Before showing the other nineteen pieces for the Ancestor Wall, I want to share two photos from the opening reception of Harriet Tubman in South Carolina: A Quilt Exhibition Honoring Her Life & Work.  Benedict is a historical African-American college with an excellent academic and arts reputation.  It was really nice to see art quilts in the art gallery.  It was even nicer to chat with friends I don't generally see unless I go to Charleston.  Marlene O'Bryant-Seabrook has a national reputation and had work at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last year right near my Decision Portraits solo show.

(Above:  Arianne King Comer with her art quilt at Ponder Art Gallery's show.)

I've known Arianne King Comer for years.  Her indigo dying is TO DIE FOR beautiful.  The entire exhibit was very, very good.  It was nice to take a break with friends.  Now, however, it is back to "Crunch Time"!  In nine days we pack the rental cargo van and head to the Washington Craft Show (Nov. 1 - 3) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show (Nov. 5 - 8).  Enjoy the pieces below!

(Above:  Ancestor Wall:  Gone from Earth.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Home Sweet Home Address Unknown.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: I Was Going to Change the World.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: I Was Someone's Mother ... Someone's Grandmother.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Keeper of Secrets.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Lived Life in the Fast Lane.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: I Was a Living Legacy ... I Did Memorable Things.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall:  Mama's Pride and Joy.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Once the Pillar of the Community.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: The World Was Our Oyster.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: A Leaf on the Family Tree.)

(Above: Ancestor Wall: A Night to Remember.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Born in to Privilege.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall:  Anonymous Debutante.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: From a Good Family.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall:  Friends Forever.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Everyone Loved Me.)

(Above:  Ancestor Wall: Distant Relative.)

(Above: Ancestor Wall: From a Large Family.)


Margaret said...

How sad that these photos are lost to their families...Perhaps the families are gone altogether. And yet, how lovely that you have given these souls new life!

Wanda said...

Yes, I agree with have given These lost People a new life. A way to be remembered. Perhaps you give them more new life than they had at the end of theirs. It's pretty profound. What do you think of when you think 'Harriet Tubman'. I personally think of sugar for some Long lost reason. Ok, I really do remember the reason.

Marlene O'Bryant-Seabrook said...

My quilt design was inspired by what I think of when I think of Harriet Tubman who was the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War. When the Raid that she led on the Combahee River (South Carolina) in 1863 ended, about 750 enslaved persons were free. In 2008, a new bridge built across the Combahee River on US Highway 17 (between Colleton and Beaufort Counties) was named in her honor. A photo transfer of the Bridge signage is in lower left of quilt. The Benedict Exhibition and article below commemorate the Centennial year of her death in 1913.