My first task when the Maps theme was revealed was to consider how I could tie that into Africa having set myself the added goal with the 20/12 quilts of working in my own series with the parameters of (a) wholecloth (b) surface design (c) visual cohesiveness and (d) african theme. Of course, both Maps and Africa are delightfully wide and compatable in many ways but, my very first thought was of Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto.
This street is the only street in the world to be home to Two Nobel Prize Winners ( Mr Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu). It was also a central location in the Soweto Uprisings of 16thJune 1976 which were a pivotal event in the fight against apartheid.Students marching to protest the imposition of Afrikaans as he mandatory language of tuition for some of their classes were shot by the Police in and around Vilakazi street. The iconic picture of Hector Pieteson,shot by Sam Nizima who was the second student shot but the first to die caused international outrage. The first boy was Hastings Ndlovu.
The quilt is based on a map of Vilakazi Street and the surrounding areas and is made of a wholecloth base of scraped and stamped screenprinting inks embellished with Pitt Artists Pen and silk string. For those who wish to know more about the writing on the quilt ( which I am very pleased with as from a distance it appears as topographical texture but closer up tells the story of he street) see the entry on my personal blogwhere I set out exactly what is written on the quilt top.
I am pleased to say that in making this quilt I have revived my fascination with apartheid era history. By coincidence just after it was finished the shelves in my studio were finally finished and I was able to unpack my collection of South African books which had been packed since we moved some eighteen months ago. n there I found a book I had forgotten all about detailing the history of the uprisings. I have also stumbled uppin a website detailing the routes the various students took from their schools on the 16th July. The two are inspiring me to start a whole series. This is the second one, again based on Vilakazi Street albeit rotated so that west is at the top.
And this is the next piece of fabric with bits and bobs ready for a bigger map.
We are twelve quilt artists who embarked on an art challenge together. We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play, experiment, learn, and grow.
For four years (2007-2011), we each made a 12x12 inch quilted art piece on a designated theme or palette. See our Theme Series and our Colorplay series.
For the 2012 Series, we changed things a bit and made rectangular pieces, 20x12 inches with roughly 10 weeks between each challenge. As before, we had a designated theme for each challenge.
We shared our process, progress, and results on this blog. It remains a key record of our rich collaboration.