Friday, 4 July 2008

Out the Other Side

OK so here it is. It didn't get selected for the SAQA Europe show I entered it for but given the wealth of art quilters in Isreal and Europe and the quality of work those selected normally produce that is not really very surprising - I still have a very long way to go.

However it is a quilt that's important to me for several reasons. Firstly the subject-matter: the quilt celebrates finally being discharged from the cancer clinic at St James's (Jimmy's) Hospital in Leeds, where, six years ago I was treated for endometrial cancer by the most amazing team of doctors and nurses and other medical staff, to whom as you can imagine I am extremely grateful.

The patterns are based on normal and cancer cells and the sun-like thing at the top right is probably something to do with the radiotherapy treatment I had to undergo after surgery. I'm not sure where the snake-like shapes came from . My friend Judith reckons they look like snakes, which is not entirely inappropriate - the whole experience was intensely scary but snakes are also traditional symbols of survival, presumably because they can go without food or water for relatively long times.

It was also a first for me in that I've never made a full-size quilt using scrim before (the spots and blotches are the only bits on the surface that aren't); I also dyed the wadding to have colours that would show through the scrim. Plus it's the first quilt I've ever made with serious grown-up subject-matter.