My latest and last finish of 2019 is Unruly. Pieced entirely without rulers or measurements, this piece represents the beauty and artistry to be found in resisting efforts to control bodies and minds. It measures 20” wide and 32” tall.
While exploring and experimenting with improv curves in the last couple of years, I kept returning to the idea of curves and femininity, especially as I have evolved as a feminist. I decided to try to make a human figure with curves, and in the summer as multiple states proposed legislation that was cruelly restrictive to reproductive rights, I started to make body parts to channel my feelings through fabric. I watched journalists uncover powerful abusers who silenced their victims with physical and emotional threats, NDAs, and gaslighting. I heard about continued violence against trans people, especially the rising death count of trans women of color. I read about families separated, children caged and abused in the United States and those who contort their stories to erase their humanity. Still more children are mocked for their concern for the environment and taught to hide in closets from gun violence at school. Witnessing so much fear and tragedy throughout 2019 propelled and informed my desire to make a body free of harm and oppressive control.
In my quilting process I am always learning from the ways that planned and unplanned elements play against one another, and the natural way that moments of revelation emerge from improvisational methods is like finding moments of levity and joy in dark times.