Foreclosure Quilt : Modesto, CA

I finished another Foreclosure quilt this week of a neighborhood in Modesto, CA.

Modesto Foreclosure Quilt, 2011. Cotton and cotton voile with kantha stitching. 12" x 36"

I felt the need to do a lot of kantha stitching on this piece and wasn't sure why at first. Something about this stitching reminds me of plantings in farm fields. There are a lot of farms surrounding Modesto and I suspect this neighborhood was once farmland. So perhaps it's fitting to show it this way.

Modesto Foreclosure Quilt  block detail, 2011.
The city has one of the highest foreclosure rates in California. There is even an entire neighborhood that was under construction that was just abandoned mid construction. The remaining residents feel helpless with half-built houses sitting across the street.

Modesto Foreclosure Quilt lot detail, 2011.
It's hard to think that these cities will somehow survive and hopefully rebuild. My next piece though, based on a neighborhood in Cleveland, will show that it can be done if the neighbors and city work together.


Artist : Elana Herzog

Elana Herzog has been stapling textiles to walls for ten years. A strange combination unless you imagine the staples becoming a stitch attaching textile to the wall. What makes her work so endearing is what she does after she's applied thousands of staples to a blanket (I'm guessing she has a strong arm by now). She removes most of the blanket, leaving behind a ghost imprint of the orginal textile and pattern.

Untitled 2, 2001. Cotton chenille bedspread, metal staples, drywall, plywood
91.5 x 84 inches Elana Herzog

Untitled 2 detail, 2001. Cotton chenille bedspread, metal staples, drywall, plywood
91.5 x 84 inches Elana Herzog

I also fell in love with her collage work where she presses together textiles and paper pulp to create some wonderful patterns that remind me of, you guessed it, house lots.

Untitled 2010. Handmade cotton paper and textiles, 16 x 13 inches. Elana Herzog
Untitled 2010. Handmade abaca, textile, 11 x 14 inches. Elana Herzog
 To see lots more of Elana's work as well as many of her impressive installations, see her website here.


Upcoming Shows : MarinMOCA and ARC Gallery

I have work in two shows that open later this month. Artfully Reclaimed at MarinMOCA in Novato opens Saturday, May 28th with a reception from 5-7 PM. My Cape Coral Foreclosure Boro will be included in the show alongside my friend Myrna Tatar's amazing artwork among others.

Cape Coral Foreclosure Boro, 2011. Linen, voile, string and embroidery thread.

The show runs from May 28th through July 10th. See the website here for more details and directions.

I also have some earlier work in FLOW: The Essence of Paint at ARC Gallery located at 1246 Folsom Street in San Francisco. The opening for the show will be Saturday, June 4th from 7-10 PM. Sad Eyes from my Repetition series will be in the gallery.

Sad Eyes, 2009. Mixed media on canvas.

There is also an online gallery running concurrently that features two more pieces from my Repetition series. For those of you who can't make it, you can view all of the work now here! The show runs through June 25th.


APC Quilts

I had been hearing about APC's quilts for some time but kept forgetting to check out their site.  Jessica Ogden has had APC save their remnants and was trying to think of a way to use them. She and Jean Touitou decided to make quilts with them. They sent the remnants to India and found a group of women to make them.

I find this more impressive than looking at the finished quilts, I just discovered the video of how they're made via Wise Craft's blog. Fascinating to watch!

It's so wonderful to see companies finding excellent use for their waste.See more of APC's quilts here.


Foreclosure : Detroit Quilt

I finished the Detroit Foreclosure Quilt yesterday. This one was a different situation than my previous pieces, it should really be called Detroit Demolished. I couldn't figure out why there were no foreclosures on the maps, it's because you had to look at aerial photos of the neighborhoods to see just what happened.

Detroit Foreclosure Quilt, 2011. 22" x 44" Cheesecloth, linen and cotton.
Most of the blocks are red because most of the homes have been razed after being abandoned for several years. There are an average of forty homes on each block and hundreds of them are completely gone. Here's an example of two of those blocks.

Detroit Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2011. 22" x 44" Cheesecloth, linen and cotton
The city had no choice but to demolish them. Granted a lot of the people left Detroit because there also wasn't much employment leaving no one to buy up these homes. Much of Detroit looks like this. This neighborhood shown is just a few blocks from Grosse Point, a affluent, established neighborhood.

The back of the quilt looks completely different from the front, the only lot lines I stitched were those adjacent to demolished homes. There are quite a lot of them.

Detroit Foreclosure Quilt back detail, 2011. 22" x 44" Cheesecloth, linen and cotton.
To see more pictures of Detroit abandoned homes, click here. A really sad but true image of one of the US's most vibrant cities. To read more on foreclosures, click here.


Interviewed by The Bread Quilt

I discovered an amazing blog a few weeks back that is pure eye candy, The Bread Quilt.

I was pleasantly surprised to find my Cape Coral Boro featured one day last month. Then this week, the creator, Tom Moglu contacted me to ask me a few questions about my work. He is expanding the blog to include interviews and I was one of the lucky firsts to be included. You can read the interview here.

Tom Moglu is also a collage artist. We share a similar aesthetic so you can understand why I would love looking at his work and seeing what inspires him.

Nairi, 2011. Collage on card 180 x 180 mm. By Tom Moglu

He is starting to work with fiber and I'm betting it's going to be incredible work so stay tuned. You can see more of Tom's collage work here.


Artist : Matthew Harris

I come across Matthew Harris's work again and again these days and I'm always drawn into learning more. I love the repetition throughout his work and of course, that he works with fiber and stitching.

Lantern Cloth No 1, dyed, cut & hand stitched cloth, 99 x 170 cm Matthew Harris

Lantern Cloth No 1 detail, dyed, cut & hand stitched cloth, 99 x 170 cm
In addition to fiber, Harris has made some beautiful works on paper. Incredibly beautiful and rich, amazing that these are of paper, he has that rare ability to cross mediums effortlessly.

Factory Notebook,  Mixed media on paper bound with waxed thread, 25 x 40 cm Matthew Harris

Temple Notebook,  Mixed media on stitched paper, 19 x 26cm Matthew Harris
Stunning work and some stunning words to accompany them here. See more of his work here. Okay, one more, perhaps my favorite.

Lantern Cloth No 2, dyed, cut & hand stitched cloth, 99 x 170 cm Matthew Harris


work table : Detroit Foreclosure quilt

Vanessa Filley and I are taking a week or two off of The Inhabit Project to catch up on our main work. We've been going for one month strong and a little break will help us build up some new ideas. You don't want our brains turning into this, do you?

And so last week I focused more on the Foreclosure series and started a new piece (those are the remnants above). Lots of cutting, stitching, washing, reassembling.

Detroit Foreclosure Quilt in progress, 2011.
There's a twist to this piece that is based on Detroit neighborhood maps. When I looked at the lack of foreclosures shown on the RealtyTrac site, it didn't make sense. Wasn't Detroit one of the hardest hit areas? Yes, but you have to look at the aerial photos to see the true story. Shocking and sad. Entire blocks have been razed as all the homes were abandoned. Hence, no more foreclosures. Just emptiness. What will happen? Who knows.

Detroit Foreclosure Quilt in progress, 2011. Map from RealtyTrac.
There are vast expanses of lots removed in this piece. It takes on a different character than my previous work. And doesn't the image on the right remind you of my last post on Blinky Palermo? I had planned this piece before I saw Composition with 8 Red Rectangles. Really interesting how completely different ideas can lead to a similar outcome.


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