Tapestry, (video) performance, and mask
Cotton fabric, lace, glass beads, thread, ink, pearls
82” x 94”
This queen-size quilt “femmage” utilizes the traditional mediums of fabric, embroidery, and beading with other artistic mediums such as printmaking, drawing, and screenprinting. By using non-traditional quilting techniques, it transforms the familiar, domestic imagery of quilting into a “high art,” two dimensional piece of art. The overall goal of the piece is to create a juxtaposition between traditional and nontraditional. These women were breaking the traditions of their time to gain their own personal rights. This contrast is expressed with the combination of patchwork quilting in the background with glitzy, embellished women in the foreground. Over adorned clothing is meant to express the confidence of the women to stand out and speak up.
Quilting has carried through the decades as a women's craft. The rich history of sewing, quilting, and embroidery all comes down to women passing their skills along to the next generation. To express this history, a quilting circle was created with 4 generations of women (and men) from my family to help with the finishing touches. My mother was a huge inspiration for the project; she taught me how to sew at a young age and still teaches me to this day.
I am extremely grateful for the rights I have today compared to women only a century ago. Women and people of color have, and continue to fight for equal rights in society. The Women’s Suffrage Movement was only the beginning. This project allowed me to express the importance of women’s role in society and how significant the 19th Amendment was, and is, to women of the United States of America. I want the piece to communicate that change is possible if we look to our ancestors and recognize the patterns of history. Women have used quilts to advance political causes for many years. Activists utilized quilts because they were historically women’s work, and were, therefore, considered less abrasive than standard activism. I want Together to motivate women in Indiana to continue the fight for equality and empower them to do whatever their heart desires! Women are powerful beings. Women are resilient. Women are strong.
It is important to note that this quilt was made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the project was made during home quarantine. Sewing supplies were a challenge to come by due to the need of cotton, handmade masks during the peak of the outbreak. The timing was significant considering it was a big election year. During this time, the American people were very focused on politics and exercising their right to vote.