September 18, 2004

Memory Quilts: Hold the Sentiment

Andrea Kalinowski, Anna's Quilt, 2000; 94 by 77 inches.Creating a family photo quilt that is not sappy, sentimental and kitsch is a challenge. The tendency is to take a small emotionally significant photograph, (a wedding, a new baby, a deceased parent) and print that directly onto a piece of fabric. The problem grows from there: how to surround the photo: more photos? Sentimental fabric?

Immigration and Integration: A portfolio of work reflecting the experiences
of immigrants and their descendants
in the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of Fiberarts magazine offers an array of image driven quilts that are powerful visions. They demand our minds as well as our emotions.

Andrea Kalinowski has created a quilt, almost 8 feet tall, that features one ghost-image of a 'Jewish immigrant pioneer' woman, which is superimposed over a patchwork of the stories and images of other pioneer immigrant women.

Olga Waters has followed used a simple photo collage technique in her quilt, Light Down Under. Using images of her family's past, Waters tells the story of fleeing Holland after world war II in search of a new life in Australia. The colors in Waters' work move from stark black and white to rich warm hues and swirling leaf-like lines.

Other images are abstract impressions or three dimensional works. The article is a treasure trove of ways to incorporate memory, but leave out the mawkishness.

Posted by sfenton at September 18, 2004 10:15 AM | TrackBack