August 17, 2020

Eye Contact

An exhibit called Eye Contact: Creating A Connection has recently opened at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, VA.  The exhibit runs through September 15, 2020. 

I love everything about this show.  For one thing, I always love a challenge quilt show.  I find all the different, creative ways the challenge topic is expressed to be endlessly fascinating.  I also love this particular show because I have a quilt in it, and I had such a deep experience in making the quilt. 

The quilts are small - 23" wide x 5" high - and the only instruction to the artists was that the subject be "two human eyes looking at the viewer".

Here's my quilt:
I wrote a post at the time I finished the quilt.  You can read about and see photos of my design process there.  

I'm posting about my little eyes quilt again, because my thought process and experience making the quilt are as valid today if not more so.

Here's what I wrote when I completed my quilt last year:

I've been studiously avoiding political comments on my posts, but in this case, I touch in with politics just a bit, as this is a big part of what drew me to participate.  The desire (necessity) to be truly seen seems to me to be so crucial to the divisions and angst that currently plague our political/social discourse.  Everyone on both sides of the aisle seems to be clamoring to be seen, heard, honored, represented.  "I see you" may be the most powerful tool we have to mend our interrelationships. 

I See You!

All along, I've been very sure that I wanted to keep my social media presence to quilts only, but now, I'm feeling the need to open up here a bit more.  One thing I learned way-back-when in college, getting my anthropology degree, that has stuck with me ever since is that we all share the same needs. We are social-living animals.  We all need to be seen, honored, respected, and to belong somewhere.  We all need food, water, shelter, clothing, family, community, and so on.  All the myriad different cultures that cover the earth are various ways to fulfill those needs.

I have been listening to the news with this in mind, and have noticed how often there are words about not feeling heard, seen, and supported.  I really do think this is a key concept.  

The exhibit debuted last summer as part of the Sacred Threads biannual show, and is now traveling around the country.  On the Sacred Threads website, you can meet curator Barbara Hollinger and learn about her inspiration for this exhibit, and see a couple of videos of the display.  

If you can't get to the show in person, there's a catalog available.  I think you'll find the variety of moods and techniques really entertaining, and the overall mood and expression very moving.

And check out this P.S. with a couple more photos.

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