Thursday, 1 November 2007

journal quilt - now showing in Houston!



Not the perfect photo but the best I have at present (suddenly realised as the courier service was due to arrive that I didn't have a picture of it so had to whip out the camera, take it out of the packaging and take a couple of hurried shots (really it does hang straighter than this! I hope!)

The images are taken from Leeds West Indian Carnival which this year celebrated its fortieth anniversary plus the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain and its colonies. The bottom image came from the slave-ship theme and I think may be a slavemaster; the middle image, the peacock, signifies pride; and the top image reminded me of a rising sun - I chose these both for their appearance and their symbolism; on the side panels the symbolism is obvious - broken chains growing into leaves then flowers (flowers loosely based on hibiscus).

As for techniques - the background is a single panel of hand-dyed silk overlaid at the sides with hand-dyed silk chiffon: the leaves chains and flowers are reverse applique outlined in braid. The faces on the centre panel are made very simply using a counterchange effect with multiple layers of silk and metallic organzas. For the top image I've used lame (never again!), fancy threads, sequins and braids; for the peacock, braids, multiple organza and lame layers, beads and threadpaiting fo the feathers; for the bottom image bonded shot silk and black georgette plus silver braid and metallic thread.

I'm still not sure I'm satisfied with it - but I'm conscious of having had to modify the costumes/headdreasses to fit the design - for example the slavemaster's collar (the stand-up bit at the back) was at least twice the size, giving an amazing impression of power and domination which is lost in my interpretation.

However the journal quilts are meant to be about exploring and learning and this one definitely took me out of my comfort zone: the techniques I used from the book are threadpainting, couching and reverse machine applique; these are new or relatively new to me; the composition is much more formal than I sould normally use - but it seemed to fit the subject; I created a number of my own fabrics by bonding together transparent fabrics - unfortunately the depth you can achieve this way doen't show up in the photograph; and I used a lot of unfamiliar and non-traditional fabrics.

Below are details of two of the appliques:


17 comments:

Karen Hall said...

Interesting - I love the colour - wish I could see this "in the flesh"!
Regards
K

zquilts said...

Great piece Sandra ! Wonderful colors~

Corky said...

This is a fabulous piece!

Nikki said...

You have captured a difficult subject wonderfully. I love the power and boldness of the rising sun figure overshadowing the darkness of the slave master.

Christine Thresh said...

Even though you say, "I'm still not sure I'm satisfied with it.." it is a bold and striking work. I am in awe.
Thank you for sharing it with us and the world.
I'll put a link to it on my blog.

Chris Predd said...

love the images......you do beautiful work! Chris Predd

Carole said...

Sandra this is beautiful. I love how you have captured two worlds and the masks are great. I have a small brooch I have had for years of a masked face and thought that I would like to try it soemday. You just may have given me the push I need.
Carole

Stacy said...

This is a beautiful Quilt & sort of mysterious. I love the feeling looking at it; the peacock face!

Carol said...

Sandra this is a beautiful quilt. Well done.

Waltraud said...

Hi Sandra, this is a great quilt, I love the wonderful details.

PaMdora said...

Great color scheme! Good thing you remembered to take the photo before it left -- last summer I sent a bunch of stuff out without realizing that I didn't have good photos.

MargaretR said...

Wow, that's amazing Sandra!

Joan said...

Hi Sandra,

I just viewed your blog and absolutely love your journal piece with the three images. The use of color and design are right up my alley. Your dyed fabrics are beautiful. Your photography is also very inspiring and pieces of art themselves. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to checking in on your blog.

sandra wyman said...

Thank you so much all of you for your comments. As you'll have gathered I'm not altogether confident about what I do, and this whole experience has been quite confidence-boosting!

cat in tassie said...

sandra, add me to your list of admirers! I love everything about this quilt. Now I'm going to settle in and read some of your older posts too.

Lorraine said...

Oh wow; incredible art. You are a multi-talented lady! Bravo.
Lorraine

Ann said...

Wow, this is very cool! Very nice use of colors and the textures created. Bold colors, I like it!! I have a question..do you have to be invited to enter a quilt at Houston? I'm not talking about one of their competitions like the theme competition. Just to show your quilt. Any help on this subject would be appreciated. Congratulations on the show!