Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stitching Together

 (Above:  Stitching Together, a sculpture art quilt.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I've blogged about this piece a couple times during the past two months.  It was created in response to a very specific call-for-entry from the McKissick Museum here in Columbia, SC.  The upcoming exhibition is called Crafting Civil (War) Conversations.  The information includes this paragraph:

Seeking entries from artists working in what historically have been regarded as craft-based media (clay, fiber, glass, metal and wood), our exhibit will be a juried art exhibition that symbolically re-enacts the Civil War’s end as a scene of reconciliation—not between the North and the South—but between former slaves and former slave owners. The Museum ask artists to imagine and give visual and sculptural form to this scene, perhaps giving form to what Martin Luther King conjured when he dreamt of a day when “the sons of former slaves and the sons of slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."


I generally don't make work for specific calls-for-entry.  I already have more than enough ideas to last three or four lifetimes ... but reading this entry was different.  Immediately, I saw the completed piece in my mind.  Rarely does this happen.  Instead, I generally have a "foggy vision" that develops more organically.  Equipped with this full-blown image, I knew I had to make the work.  Of course, it depended on getting an antique quilting frame.  Making this piece has been an adventure and I loved every minute.


I first blogged about the grave rubbings HERE.  The brown crayon rubbings were from Elmwood Cemetery's unknown Confederate graves.  The black crayon rubbings were of doves, olive branches, lambs, praying and joined hands, and other decorative motifs found in nearby Randolph Cemetery, the historic African-American resting place.


Later I blogged about the stitching and making the two chairs from another quilting frame acquired from Kathleen Loomis.  That post is HERE.  Now ... the piece is finished.  I took the photos in the atrium at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios ... just outside my studio door ... right before installing my current installation, Threads: Gathering My Thoughts.  It is wonderful to have such a spacious, white gallery space under four illuminating skylights for taking submission photos.  Last Thursday, everything for the installation's opening was ready.  I was just nervously waiting for 5:00 PM ... so I submitted my entry!  I'll blog around it later ... when I learn if it has been accepted or not.  One way or the other, it doesn't matter.  I loved the process.  I love the piece ... and certainly the "daughters of slaves and slave owners can sit down together at a table of sisterhood ... and stitch our country back together in peace".

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber artworks. 

3 comments:

Margaret said...

Susan, I'd read your posts about the construction of this installation...so lovely to see it fully accomplished. It captures the theme of the Call so perfectly -- with an elegance and simplicity that is deeply moving. Best wishes for many opportunities to share this wonderful installation!

Wanda said...

This is a bulls-eye. It is perfect. It is so simple. So Basic. And yet, it isn't. It speaks volumes. It is like the perfect Picture of the upcoming juried art Exhibition.

Cynthia Boiter said...

Another example of the depth and breath of the thoughtfulness of your work. So intense, but so accessible. Congratulations, Susan. Very well deserved.