Thursday, October 1, 2009

12 Months

... the length of a deployment.


Twelve horizontal strips of fabric from three different uniforms my husband has worn during his various deployments (plus a few other fabrics for visual texture) represent the twelve months. The vertical quilting indicates the actual days of the months. Although it is not specifically a narrative, the fabrics and colors move from having the best intentions of sending letters, marking the days, being supportive and patriotic, etc., to the darker, tired feeling one inevitably has towards the end of such a long separation. The 365th day, however is marked with the open heart with which we welcome daddy back. The large number 12 is conceptually redundant, but the piece needed it graphically for a change of scale. Besides, it reinforces the theme of this challenge.

19 comments:

Deborah Boschert said...

Oh Kristin. I just love it. A perfect representation of the theme. Each element complements the whole.

Do the embroidered Xs near the top have some symbolism?

Gerrie said...

I love it too. It just grabbed at me before I even knew what it was about and then I had an emotional attachment as well. I love each of the elements that you have included and the whole is such good art.

Karen said...

This just tears at my heart and brings back the reminder of the sacrifices the families make. I really like the 12 you added it is subtle yet powerful

Diane said...

Kristin, this is such a lovely and personal reaction to the challenge. It's instantly evocative -- graphically wonderful, with lots to look at. I love the giant 12 embedded in it. It has sadness and strength in it. This may be my favorite of all of your pieces.

QuiltingFitzy said...

You got me at 12.

xo

Terry said...

Yes, what everyone else said! I knew it was yours when the image appeared--that combination of strong and delicate that you combine so well. It has such an emotional impact without being soupy or sentimental. It is real. It is your life. And we are privileged to share this. Beautiful.

Kristin L said...

Thanks everyone. Deborah, I tried to make the Xs at the top a significant number, but 12 was too few. I used 100 on another version, but on this one, it would have covered up too many "days" who's fabric I wanted to show. They represent the marks one makes on a calendar when counting the days as they pass so in the end I decided that it was OK for them to be just that and not have any additional symbolism.

Terri Stegmiller said...

This is great! I really like how you illustrated the months, days, etc. The heart, "daddy" and "12" really add to this along with the embroidered X's. Great piece and I'm betting so many can relate to this.

Sue Reno said...

So succinct and meaningful, you made some great art with this.

Helen Conway said...

I look, I read, it socks me in the stomach. Is that not the definition of good art? Have you made other quilts with the uniforms? the idea reminds me of Rachel Rogell's work with uniforms.

kirsty said...

You have packed a very powerful emotional punch with this one, Kristin. The name Daddy made me sob. So quietly eloquent. And beautiful.

Art said...

Yeah. Pretty cool, honey.

Jeannie said...

This is so moving. Your mastery of the subtle colors just amazes me.

Nikki said...

I have tears in my eyes. I can only imagine the sacrifice and struggles you and other military families go through. Living less than a mile from Bangor Navy base I know plenty families who face these struggles and I am always amazed at the strength of the wives who can let their husbands go, wear all the hats during deployment and then let daddy step effortlessly back into his role of man of the house when he comes home. The little red heart explains how it is all possible!

Julie Bagamary said...

What a wonderful tribute!

Brenda said...

I have always been struck by the candour, spirit, grace and equanimity in the way you guide yourself and your family through the challenges of deployment and this shines through in your work.

Françoise said...

I knew it was you of course. It's a beautiful quilt. My eyes keep going to the "daddy" sign and to the kids drawings. So meaningful.

marcia.conway said...

This is a very personal and emotional piece which you would nwver want to part with.

Natalya said...

powerful