Monday, July 18, 2016

The Red Shirt


The Red Shirt
-1970s cotton shirt, 2000s Gap chinos, various scraps on burlap

The old barn behind our house.

Lapstrake, Ticking, and Rachel Carey George/Gee's Bend quilt


- Gap jeans c.2000, early 20th c velvet, 1970s velour pants, silk, wool, cheesecloth, burlap


- early 20th c mattress ticking, wood toothpicks, cotton string, tea-dyed burlap


Ticking removed from cotton boll stuffed mattress.

Gee's Bend/ Rachel Carey George quilt

The use of old clothing and household items in my work is directly inspired by the Gee's Bend quilt makers, a group of African American women living in close-knit geographically isolated communities of Alabama.  Their work, originally made of whatever salvageable materials were available, represents an important cultural and visual contribution to the history of 20th c African American art.  In need of warmth, and with no time to fuss over intricate patterns and piecework, the Gee's Bend artists created a non-traditional aesthetic vision which incorporates the idiosyncrasies and past lives of recycled goods.  In this quilt by Rachel Carey George (1909-2011)--made of wool trousers, jeans, and mattress ticking--the faded ghost prints of pockets become compositional elements in the overall design.