Posts Tagged ‘Protest’

Protest stitches

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Hi there,

Now that I’ve explained my sudden prolonged absence, I can get down to the fun of showing what was made for the Protest theme. I really like your quilt, Jennifer, and next to it, mine feels serious. Though not entirely.

 

I made this quilt out of protest at the people who choose to pull the world apart. Through wars, greed or environmental destruction. Our globe is such a beautiful place, but it is so easily crumbled and torn to pieces by those few whose actions ruin it for everyone. Not all damage is reversible. I protest against the short-sighted, the greedy, the apathetic, and above all, against those who go to war needlessly. 

The font of the quilt is a globe, made up of bands of fabric. Flowers for beauty, camouflage print for militarism, and rich colours for the complicated mass of humanity. The globe is crumbling at the edge. The resulting shape is a little reminscent of a skull. Dangling pieces for the broken bits of lives and beauty smashed by war. 

On the back of the quilt, love can bloom in the midst of violence and warmongering. Love can be a spiky thing. It’s not all hearts and roses. The heart an image of blood, passion and unreason — strong emotions, sometimes god, sometimes destructive. There is a violent part inside humanity but we learn to live with it. To civilise ourselves. Be god to our neighbours. Walk lightly on the earth. 

I stitched this quilt in a 24-hour heat of inspiration provoked by thoughts of the injustice of war and the waste of environmental destruction. 

Serious? Yes, but that’s a part of life, too! 

Maybe the next one will have some sense of fun and humour in it again. We’ll see what shows up!

Bev

 

PS: I am still unable to load any new images, in whatever browser or machine I try. Bear with me. I think this is a Mac thing. 

Oh! My goodness

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

What a lovely quilt.

Jennifer, that quilt is so worth waiting for. I’m really, truly impressed. I know that life has thrown you some bumpy bits and way too much work recently, but this is lovely, and inspiring, and direct and honest and true. Your art is really growing somewhere, you know?Even the colours — although I chose them for you — they became yours somehow and I forgot that they weren’t exactly the fabrics you would choose for yourself.

A big standing ovation for you for this one! I love them all, but each new quilt is a delight to meet.

Bev

The Making of a Protest

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Hi Bev.

I’m behind, so this protest quilt has to come together quick. Thankfully, I’m the sort of woman who gets worked up about injustice on a daily basis. I think we can all agree that there are plenty of things to protest in this world from wars and bungled laws like the  Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to unreasonable bosses and parking spot stealers. From the serious atrocities to minor annoyances, it will be fun to stitch out some of my issues. Come to think of it, I think the world would be a much better place if all world leaders stitched. President Obama, I’m available if you need an International Ambassador of Craft.

Cheers,

Jennifer

Pearls of wisdom, beads of hope, threads of tradition…

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

They say they’re coming out of Gaza. The protest quilt is done, a white-hot quick flash — like the news of this war as a flash amidst all the other themes in the news these days: gloom and hope, change and crumbling systems, and this flash of conflict against the always-looming dark clouds of the Middle East. Like I said, I don’t pretend to understand it.

I finished an amazing novel today. In the Skin of a Lion. The kind of novel that had me sitting at a cafe table longer than I intended in the 35-degree heat, clenching and unclenching one hand on the empty table (my plate long-gone), reading out the last few pages. Impervious to office boys in suits, yakking close at the next table. Close the book with a deep sigh.

It’s probably the sixth time I’ve read Michael Ondaatje’s book, but I keep hazy memories of it every time — only an image here and there (the men off to work in the dark morning; the red dog, August; sleeping amongst mushrooms in Italian darkness; the blue man on the roof). Beauty, sorrow, violence and pain — the feelings I had while I was stitching that Protest quilt — they’re all there in the book.

Somehow the heart glows amidst militarism; sometimes it’s spiky. We walk large in the skin of the brave lion; we become something else; we are small and we slip through – to dance, defiant.

What do I protest about?

Monday, January 19th, 2009

There are so many things to protest about.

- clearing forests, burning rainforest, laying waste to land

- landmines, injustice and totalitarianism

- apathy. About the real environmental cost of what we buy. Apathy about labour conditions for factory workers. About water use and food crises. Apathy is the worst of all.

I was going to make a quilt about apathy. The design was partly worked out, and the core meaning was absolutely clear to me: “Live your life with your brain on. Look and see. Now don’t just lie there, eating and buying stuff — do something!”

However small a contribution, actions and caring blast apathy out of the water.

But something else started to happen, and my quilt became a different thing. As I laid out your package of fabrics on the desk, Jennifer, I was listening to the radio. And there were missiles falling in the middle east again: Israel and Gaza: Gaza and Israel.

Some of my childhood memories are of the half-understood news of these kinds of conflicts. Images on the news at night, Israeli women soldiers, young, bombs in streets, families — and there’s me, living a sheltered and happy life in a quiet part of the world. Not guilt, but horrid fascination. Awareness of how things could have so easily been different: I could have been born in Afghanistan, the middle east, Angola, Cambodia — one of any number of countries ripped by wars I don’t, and won’t understand, in the years since I was born.

So this quilt became a record of anger, dismay and concern. Not understanding. A complete failure to understand why war is what happens. I stitched while the news reports came in, and finished as the land invasion began. My quilt is finished, but it’s not over – not for anyone on the ground in these cities, families and friends of local people, and anyone who is concerned, not apathetic about war in our world.

Bev

What do we want? A protest quilt!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

- When do we want it?

NOW!

The protest packet

Just last week, a protest was under way in Melbourne, and I heard that age-old rally cry. What do we want? Fair Pay! When do we want it? NOW!

It seems that there’s a lot to protest in our world, and fitting that I should be doing it on New Year’s Day. Sewing up a storm, stitching the world with the protest packet you sent me, this quilt lept through my hands and into the sewing machine, and it’s almost done already, only 48 hours later.

 

What’s that you say? You want consistency? (A slow quilt, a quick quilt… will she ever get this right?) 

Sorry – quilt a-coming through! I hope your TV craft spot goes well and that you can join me over here where I’m a one-woman, craft-mad protest chick.

What’s it all about?

Tell ya tomorra!

Bev