Ruins 1

Yesterday I sent off my entry to the European Quilt Triennial. A big moment! And I could not be happier with the way the quilt turned out. The rules prohibit me showing the full quilt but here is a detail.

Ruins 1 detail

Ruins 1 detail

I have always had a fascination with buildings. I am a city girl and will take a cityscape over a picture of green, nature, countryside things any day. Cityscapes feature in some of my earlier works such as Sin City 2. My current Hidden Message series is inspired, in part, by high rise buildings in Shanghai. The spark that ignited the ideas behind the Ruins quilt was an online list of 50 abandoned buildings I came across quite by accident last year. From there I found the work of French photographer Martin Vaisse (www.flickr.com/photos/pheizy). His photos of abandoned factories are just stunning.

So I started looking at the textures and colours in old buildings. When I visited the Cloth and Memory exhibition at Salts Mill I took more photos of the building than of the art!

Salts Mill – girders and skylights

Salts Mill – peeling wall

Salts Mill – peeling girders

 

I spent last summer creating lots of fabulous cloth using a rust and black colour family. The good weather meant I was able to do lots of breakdown printing which seemed very appropriate. As an experiment I had a thermofax made from a photo of one of the breakdown pieces. I used this to build layers of line and colour.

Greyscale photo used to make a thermofax

Greyscale photo used to make a thermofax

Once I had a reasonable collection of cloth I started to construct ‘brick walls’. I played around with the size of the bricks and with the overall dimensions of the pieced quilt tops. Ruins 1 and Ruins 2 (which is nearly finished) are both long thin pieces. They are meant to evoke a landscape. The quilting is dense but is not intended to distract from the textures and colours of the bricks.

I have a third piece in progress and a headful of ideas, both for printing more cloth and for making more quilts. I feel more comfortable with this series than I have with earlier work, including the Hidden Message series. It feels more intuitive, less forced. It feels like I have found my artistic voice.

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