Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Making of a "Protest" Quilt

I have never made a "controversial" piece of art. I probably never would have; but with things as they are today, I felt compelled to do SOMETHING--ANYTHING. I needed SOME way to express my frustration/disdain/disappointment. Because I'm worried about how things are going in our country and how out of control things are, I needed a way to have SOME kind of control over SOMETHING. 

I'm surprised at the disquiet I feel about this quilt. It isn't the quilt itself; it is my fear of the reactions of my friends who have VERY different political views than I do. I do hope it makes EVERYONE (friends and foes) think.

Women have been making quilts of protest and political quilts for a long time. There seems to be a BIG divide in the quilting community about whether these "protest/political" quilts should be displayed at quilt shows and whether they should even be made. (Fiber art is my only artistic outlet, so I really have no choice of medium.) Check out this really good article from the Chicago Tribune on quilts and quilters expressing themselves through their art.

First, let me say that, to me, the flag represents freedom, justice, and pride (as it does to many other Americans). I realize and am thankful for the sacrifices made on behalf of the US by the veterans of all our wars. I mean no disrespect to them or to the flag. I DID, however, feel that the flag was the best way for me express my (I'm not sure what to call it.) "dismay."

I've heard it said that art should provoke conversation/thought/discussion. I hope that is what my latest quilt will do. I think you can zoom in on these pictures to see what the quilt actually says. I quilted Trump's words (in orange) in the red stripes. I quilted quotes by Presidents in the white stripes. The quilt is called Compare and Contrast. I have included the quotes I used at the bottom of this post in case you are interested.
Close up of quilt.

My quilt was not one chosen for the Threads of Resistance exhibit. Once I saw what quilts made it into the show, I realized my quilt was probably really tame compared to many that were chosen. See one of the quilts here--"Poisonous Words" I had intentionally made the quilting subtle (rather than "in your face") so the viewer would see it as just a patriotic flag. Upon closer inspection, the words would come into view. I like that "surprise" aspect in art--that "hidden-message" effect. I'm glad I made it and hope I can find a place to display it.  The quotes quilted into the flag are shown below.

Trump quotes--
Red stripe 1-Grab them by the pussy. Such a nasty woman
Red stripe 2-They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
Red stripe 3-He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.
Red stripe 4-The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy; it is the enemy of the American People.
Red stripe 5-The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.
Red stripe 6-I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big time, but I wasn't interested in taking all of his calls. He's not smart enough to be president.
Red stripe 7-Look, in the meantime, I guess I can't be doing so badly because I'm president and you're not.

Presidential quotes--
White stripe 1-Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.  Kennedy
White stripe 2-The American Dream is something no wall will every contain.  Obama
White stripe 3-There is nothing wrong in American that can't be fixed with what is right in America.  Clinton
White stripe 4-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.  Kennedy
White stripe 5-I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. Lincoln
White stripe 6-Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of American liberty.  Hoover


Barbara Triscari said...

Beautifully done. If it fits the sizes for Declaration of Sentiments, that would be another call to enter with it. It does talk to women's issues with his quotes about women and the women's march in response. I also do not do controversial pieces, so it was outside of my norm to do one for the Declarations call. The call opened today.

Robbie said...

WOW! This is awesome!!! And the idea to incorporate the quotes was a great idea!!! Nicely done...nicely done....

Mary said...

Maybe my quilt was too subtle as well, but I'm just glad I entered. I like your quilt a lot!

Anonymous said...

Art is about expressing what you feel and think. If this quilt does that for you, then it's already a winner and doesn't need entry anywhere.