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Cloth is soft, pliant, and permeable. It carries scars of its wear as creases, stains, and tears, and recalls its past to those who consider its weathered appearance. Quilting gives new life to the old stories embedded in fabric. It is a nearly universal tradition, born from the need to repurpose worn textiles and nurtured by individual and cultural narrative.
My recent work relishes those textiles most steeped in my own personal heritage: my grandfather’s neon pink pants from the 1970’s, the skirt my mother got married in, and dozens of pair of jeans my sister and I shared growing up. Each smaller piece in the series features one article of clothing that was given to me and has a significant, elaborate back-story. The full-sized quilts are based off of my favorite family photos, and explore materials relevant to their original subject: rust stains from the vintage picture of my mom and shared “genes” with my sister.
By deconstructing clothing reminiscent of previous chapters in my own life and patching its pieces together, I re-contextualize my own memories and associations with such fabrics. I am fascinated by how quilts reintegrate the discarded into a new, functional art form, and then soften and adapt when additional fabrics repair the holes life bores through them. Function and form meld into a figurative and literal warmth of palpable legacy. Please touch it.
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Griscom, Laura Jaya, "Blanket Statements" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 299.
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