Bear with me, there’s a quilt at the end of this post.
During this holiday week, it’s difficult not to assess the state of the nation and wonder. Let there be no doubt, I am a proud American more often than not. And I’ve publicly declared that I am rather authentically American, a blend of bloods unlikely to have occurred without all the atrocities and glorious revolutions of our past that we celebrate on these many holidays.
And I am a scientist. I tend to acknowledge my initial emotions, but try to collect data in situations before forming concrete opinions. On most social issues, in fact, I don’t “take sides,” opting instead to attempt to sympathize with all involved; the sympathy is not meted out equally, however.
When I consider the case of Trayvon Martin, the young boy shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Florida in Feb 2012, I have noticed that the media swirls have focused far too sharply on demonizing both TM and GZ. Even reports coming out of the on-going trial focus on assassinating the characters of the witnesses. Although I’ll read court transcripts, I’ve had to limit my engagement with other commentaries.
There is only one conclusion I have come to. Trayvon did not have to die that night.
Just by happenstance of timing, I felt compelled to record my reaction to this case somehow. The hoodie became the icon for the outrage and I played with self-portrait images to see if I could somehow comprehend this simple dimension of the case. Is a hoodie just a symbol of a hoodlum, whose only fate should be early death?
It certainly didn’t feel clear to me. Taking a zillion photos of oneself in the dark with blinding flash can send one reeling ever more. It definitely took weeks to sort through them all and find the story to tell with them. Indeed, there certainly was an opportunity for an expression.
For today, I’ll spare you the details about the technique and hope for your engagement with the images and the quilt. [All credit to Warhol for the collage/coloration inspiration and to Daniel Rouse for the stencil applique idea.]
Materials: All cotton in various solids, semisolids and a brocade; flour sacking; wide muslin for the back
Techniques: Applique; machine pieced; machine quilted; hand bound
Finished size: 38″ x 57″
Started: February 2013
Finished: July 2013
Exhibition: To be announced