Wednesday, January 24, 2024


76" x 37"

This work is composed of two selfies, one of my brother and one of me. It always shocks me to see the stark contrast between myself and my brother knowing that we grew up in the same house and were raised by the same parents. Though we took vastly different paths, we are both survivors of a dysfunctional beginning. 

My brother's side is called Half In, Half Out. And, he gave me permission to make a quilt from this image. This work speaks to a universal human experience, the degree to which we are prisoners of our past. This is perhaps more evident in this selfie of my brother who spent decades in prison. It does not seem like a coincidence that he is so comfortable in the cab of his big-rig truck, which approximates the size of his previous cells in state penitentiaries. 


The bars on the left were made with Mistyfuse and black organza, then they were stuffed to make them dimensional.  The bars on the right were also stuffed and defined by a lack of quilting.  The green quilting thread on the right was intentional and symbolic (though I am keeping that private). 

And, while it might be more obvious for an ex-con, there are experiences of my past that imprison me into patterns of behavior that don’t help me either.

My side is called Keeping My Head Above Water. When I made this quilt, it felt like the water was just below my nose, and when I put the blue organza there, it was so disturbing, that I had to lower it to something more optimistic. I don't know, perhaps the making of this work actually helped me, consciously lowering my stress level.

Much too frequently I feel like I am waiting for the next big disaster to happen. I am treading water, trying to keep my head above it, and breathing in and out. I am probably doing better than I think I am. But curve balls from the universe threaten my anxious existence. When will I be swamped by the next tidal wave? It is about survival. I am separated into my many roles like colors in a halftone pattern, frequently overlapping to show the whole picture when I can only see what is right in front of me, indecipherable in the present. Colors and dots, illusion of transparency to create images...


Both of these were made with Photoshop and then printing the images at Spoonflower.  The quilting on my half was ridiculously hard with the neutral thread in straight lines on the halftone of circles... keeping the lines level, as I try to remain level-headed. And, it was a very emotional piece to make, so much so, that it has taken me 6 months to post it after completion. 

I did enter it into Quilts=Art=Quilts, and it was rejected.  After seeing images of the show, I can see why, it did not fit in. I also entered my brother's side into SAQA's virtual exhibit called Imprisoned.  (My half was not finished by the deadline). It was accepted into that show, and they made a mock up gallery, since the show was online only, and used my brother's image for the entry into the show. It felt very nice to see it there. 

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