Palm Plait Dreaming

 Bahamas  Comments Off on Palm Plait Dreaming
Nov 202015
 

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Palm Plait Dreaming, 2009

Dimensions: 22″ W x 32″L

Artist dyed and rusted fabric, Peruvian cotton, antique napkin, Bahamian palm plait.  Machine quilted.

This piece is from the Collection “Half the story has never been told” that I made during a year long project making art quilts alongside community members of Freetown, Grand Bahama Islands to document the life and history of people whose ancestors were emancipated from captured slave ships.

The image came from a discussion about palm plaiting.  The process includes soaking palm fiber in sea water, cutting and braiding (plaiting) it into long flat strips.  The strips are sewn together to make hats, bags and mats.  Rolls of strips are also sold to others for ‘pin’ money.  A ‘plaitter’ told me she loved to plait palm because she could daydream while she worked and no one would bother her.

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Palm Plait Dreaming – detail

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Palm Plait Dreaming – detail 2

 

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Artistic Eye – Journal Cover

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Nov 202015
 

artisticeye

Artistic Eye, 2015

Dimensions 8″L x 16″W

Artist dyed, discharged and printed fabric, machine quilt drawing and hand beading.

This piece doubles as a book cover.  The flat ceramic bead at the right is a button that holds the cover closed over a black hardback journal.  The journal could be replaced after use, or the piece is easily removed (velcro holds it in place) and framed.

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Contemplation Series IV: Jewels

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Nov 162015
 

contempjewel

Contemplation Series IV: Jewels, 2015

Artist dyed fabric using cyanoprinting, indigo reduction, fiber reactive processes.  Machine quilt drawing and hand beading

Dimensions: 37″W x 30″L

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Contemplation Series IV: Jewels – detail

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Contemplation Series IV: Jewels – detail

Contemplation Series: Faded Blue

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Nov 112015
 

fadedblue

Contemplation Series : Faded Blue 5 colors, 2015

Dimensions: 43″ W x 23″L

Artist dyed cotton, cyanotype printing, hand and machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading.

 


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Faded Blue – detail

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Faded Blue – Detail

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The above photo is Faded Blue before it faded.  In a late night rush to wash the piece because of a stain, I forgot that cyanoprint must not be washed with SOAP or the color fades.  The result was an accident.

My first thought was to cut it up and throw it away.  Cooler heads prevailed.  (Thank you, family!) I remedied the accident with quilt drawing each of the figures, giving them distinct faces and expressions.  Some accidents result in good art.

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Big Hair

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Nov 082015
 

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Big Hair, 2013

Dimensions: 7″ W x 10″ L

Artist dyed fabric and thread, Machine quilt drawing hand beaded and embroidered.

I love the BIG Afro.  I had one back in the day.


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Big Hair – detail

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Under the Bottle Tree

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Nov 072015
 

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Under the Bottle Tree, 2014

Dimensions: 23′ W x 28″ L

Artist dyed cotton, linen and silk.  Photo printed on silk habotai.  Hand embroidered, hand and machine quilted.

This photo is Sam and Louise Lester and their first child Gwen.  Louise was my paternal grandfather’s only sister.  I have many pictures of her from an album of my grandmother’s. You can see the original picture here.This picture is probably from the early 1920’s.  I placed pieces of blue and red silk behind the photo to give the figures color.

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Under the Bottle Tree, detail

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Under the Bottle Tree, detail

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My Bones

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Nov 072015
 

My Bones

My Bones, 2014

Dimensions: 35″ W x 25″ L

Cyanoprinting of xray and CAT scan, artist dyed fabric, Nigerian adire cloth, linoleum block printing, artist drawing printed on organza, machine quilting and quilt drawing and  hand embellishment.

This piece uses everything.  I experiment with cyanoprint and vandyke brown print developing using fabric instead of paper.  Using transparencies like an xray of when I broke my arm or a CAT scan of my pelvis – I can create pretty strange and interesting fabric.

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My Bones – detail

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My Bones – detail

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My Bones – detail

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Purple Baby Girl

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Nov 072015
 




DSC_0275_2Purple Baby Girl, 2013

Dimensions: 28.5″ W x 50″ L

Materials:  Artist dyed cotton, linen and silk.  Linoleum block printed, machine quilted and hand embroidered.

The photo is of my paternal grandmother, Jessie C Austin with my aunt Barbara as a baby.


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They Watch Him

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Nov 072015
 

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They watch him, 2013

Dimensions: 25.5 ” W x 19″L

Artist dye-painted cotton whole cloth, photo printed on habotai silk, machine quilt drawing.

I love this photo of my father’s cousin, Sammy Lester from around 1924.  I use the image often in different ways.  You can see it in another piece here.  The original photo with his sister, Gwen is here.

I used to use the whole photo and frame it with the art quilt.  That worked for a while.  I like taking the person out of the background and placing them in a landscape of my imagination.

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They watch him, detail

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