Wednesday, 1 March 2017
The Art of Changing the World
These three quilts were selected for display in 'The Art of Changing the World' show, at the Core Gallery, during the Downtown Belleville DocFest.
This quilt started as play at a men's quilting retreat in Vermont, using up bits left over from other quilts. As it grew, it quickly took on a life of its own, and it began to tell about my own life.
I live with Attention Deficit Disorder and the variety in colour, the randomness, the undisciplined nature of the arrangement, the pops of bright colours, the irregular and irrational shape, the movement and flow, the joy ... all captured in a sea of happiness ... that is my world; the way my world feels to me.
I smiled all the time that I worked on this quilt, and I still smile when I look at it today. It always reminds me that ... life is good.
Reconciliation: a Father and Son Story
I was an odd child and certainly not what my father had expected. We weren't close. There were no obvious signs of affection between us; from either of us. It was like we had both given up the other, for the good of the family; keeping up appearances.
At the age of 47, I came out to my father. By then, he was widowed, blind, and living alone in a retirement home. I travelled to Edmonton to tell him face to face.
That visit was life altering for both of us. We talked for hours about the moments that we hadn't shared; the little things that mattered; our secret dreams. For the first time in my life, I understood, what I had sensed others were feeling, when they spoke of their fathers. During the remaining four years of his life, I visited whenever I could, and we spoke almost daily. We were father and son.
I will never forget saying good bye to my father after that visit. He hugged me, and told me for the first time in my memory, that he loved me … and then sobbed ... “If I had only known. If I had only known. Think how different our lives might have been.”
This quilt is my attempt to tell that story.
Comfort and Joy
The fabric in this quilt is my favourite to work with. It is an African batik fabric, hand-made in small batches. No piece is longer than a few metres. It is made in Tanzania by a woman who supports her family by selling this fabric to fair trade dealers.
It changes her world everyday.
When I work with this fabric, I know that she was happy and I can hear her humming. The energy is so positive.
I do my best to add my own positive energy when I work with this fabric by free hand cutting the pieces within the blocks.
When I wrap myself in this quilt, I am always comforted by her joy.