Thursday, July 1, 2010

Completely carried away....

You know how I hate yellow? And purple is not all that fabulous? Well, it turns out, together they are kind of inspiring. So  I have four quilts to show off.
Two are, in my mind, top contenders to be picked as my official one but I would like your comments on that before I decide. In order of construction then...

Purple Rain protest

I am sure that many people were humming Prince's Purple Rain as they considered this challenge but did you know there was a Purple Rain Protest in the apartheid years in South Africa?  During the Cape Town protest the Police turned a water cannon filled with purple dye on the protesters to mark them out for easy arrest later. One of the protestors climbed on the canon and turned it away from the people and sprayed the dye all over the city centre buildings turning them purple.

I had been pondering with previous quilts of mine whether they only made any sense if there was a way for the viewer to also be the reader of the story behind them, whether by way of blog or a wall notice if the quilts were displayed. Well this time I thought I would go for the blatant route and just wrote on the quilt what it was about using a gel pen. Purple ink of course. I am delighted with the way, unless you are up close, the writing just adds pattern. I forgot to take photos when the strips were plain yellow ( I added the writing as the final touch after quilting) but believe me, visually, even without interpreting the meaning the words add so much.
IMHO - ahem!
I am less sure about durabilty and am now contemplating the airbrush route a la Susan Shie.

I promised a happy theme this time and of course the happy story is that the protests did lead to free elections as represented by the yellow cross.

The Purple Shall Rule.

During the protest the demonstrators carried banners and placards reading 'The People shall Govern'. When the day was over, and many present had been drenched in the dye,  it was found that a pice of graffitti had been written on the side of the Old City Hall reading, 'The Purple Shall Govern'. I immediately envisaged the yellow crosses as earings worm by an African woman.

The good thing about this quilt is that by entire accident I found that hemp string is stiff and makes the earrings ( and I am sure in the future other embellishments!) hang in a kind of 3D way. The bad thing about this quilt is that when I was writing I got the quote wrong and refered to 'The Purple shall Rule'  rather than govern. Ah well. If I hadn't confessed you would never have known would you?!

It's in your hands now

This is a mini-version of a quilt Idea I have had buzzing round ny head since Nelson Mandela's  46664 birthday concert/party in Hyde Park. The key line in his speech was 'It's in your hands now' referring to his withdrawal from public life and the passing of the mantle to the next generation.

Township Jazz

Three quilts on my design board looked silly. Clearly a fourth was required. I already blogged about the purple kind of had to be done.  I like to listen to South African Township music. I just like the rythms and melodies. But during the apartheid years the township music was very much a part of the protests - I bet you all know exiled musician Hugh Masekla's 'Bring Him Back Home'.
Don't frown at me. You do. You just might not know you do:
Watch him perform it here

Well I went to the house Mr Mandela went home to in Soweto - I was there just after his release and it was a very happy time, as was the time I spent making these quilts. Yellow or no. I really enjoyed finding a way to use the same fabric/ beads and symbols in each quilt but in a different way.


Karen said...

I think you've worked through that bitter yellow pill and come out on the sunny side (sorry, couldn't help myself). I like all of them, but if I had to choose a favorite it would be the African woman. The handwriting is so interesting, and meaningful, and once again, you have taught me something I didn't know before.

Gerrie said...

I love how you worked through the purple/yellow angst. They are all great pieces, but I like the first and the fourth, best.
And, thank you for educating me about purple rain. You always bring something of historical importance to your work.

Diane Perin said...

I just love that after your resistance about yellow you have ended up with four pieces. See how well challenges work to get us to push ourselves?

These are wonderful! As always, I love the enlightenment your response to the topic provides ... and I love how these thematically work around that historical moment. My favorite, I think, is the city -- and I love that you have written the story directly on the quilt. The hand one also pulls me back to look at it up close over and over.
Well done! You get the over-achiever award this round (unless someone here made FIVE?!)

Terry Grant said...

I love your idea of writing directly on the quilts. It is a natural! Your pieces are always about words and stories and making the words part of the visual is perfectly. logically, aesthetically right on! I am not helping you to narrow it down to a favorite, because my choice is "It's in your hands now." To me, this is a very strong statement, given expression in a very beautiful image. The background is warm and complex, the hand is elegant and strong and the tassel gives it texture and a hint of tribal culture. The yellow x says "pay attention here!" It pulls me in. That background is just incredibly beautiful. IMO, this piece really upholds your wonderful thoughts and ideas with solid artistry. Bravo.

Françoise said...

I like all four quilts, but I think the first one is my favourite,... or maybe the second one.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

I love the writing and embellishment detail on the right hand side of "The Purple Shall Rule" but overall I favour "Purple Rain Protest". Congratulations of breaking through your resistance to purple and yellow and coming up with a interesting series.

Nikki said...

I'm not surprised that your create so many wonderful quilts when faced with a color situation not to your liking. You are always one to bloom when faced with adversity. I love all the little details that tie the quilts together and how the stories are written right on the quilts.

Kristin L said...

I know I'm late as far as voting goes, but I'll give my two cents anyway! I think that Purple Rain Protest reads the best. It looks like you've channeled your inner Deborah, but like Terry said, the writing really works well for the story-telling aspect you always include in your quilts.

I also like The Purple Shall rule. Purple has long had associations with royalty, so I find that this works even without the specific South Africa story. She could simple be an African Queen and it would be just as effective. I do like the writing on the side, so after second consideration, I change my favorite to this one. I may be biased too since "Royalty" was one theme I considered.

I love the concept behind It's in Your Hands Now. I think you've executed it well too, but I'm still drawn to the lady.

Township Jazz is my least favorite, but who cares! You've already made wonderful work, and gotten over your distaste of purple and yellow to boot! :-)

Deborah Boschert said...

So excellent! I am in awe on the details of all four. Such an interesting story too. Fascinating. As always, thank YOU for sharing your art and your ideas.