8.10.2011

work table : Finally! Cleveland Foreclosure Quilt

I'm back in the studio this week after a month of travel and family staying in my studio. I always have a hard time jumping back into my work but I certainly knew what I had to do this week, make some serious progress on the Cleveland Foreclosure quilt.


It was so nice to jump right in and I'm really looking forward to finishing this one. I showed it to my friend Myrna over the weekend who used to live in Cleveland and it was fascinating to hear her and her husband's stories about driving those very streets I've sewn.


These are my reference guides, maps with layers of tracing paper over them highlighting foreclosed and empty lots. The red lots are new foreclosures since I started working in this two months ago. It shows that there is no sign of the mortgage crisis ending soon, unfortunately. Some of these houses sold for $2,000.00. Seriously.


I always save the cut out lots. It's sad watching them pile up. I'm not sure what I will do with all of them. I have them from every piece I've made so far.


The quilt is almost finished. I made a patchwork backing this time to emphasize the random nature of these foreclosures. It adds a bit of complexity to the piece as the varying shades of navy blue and black poke through. I was thinking about black holes here.


Here's a close up detail of several lots. The mottled blue fabric underneath was an old botched dyeing remnant I couldn't part with.


My next step is to add the community gardens that have been created throughout this neighborhood. There are four at my last count; hopefully even more since I started. Myrna told me about this recent article in The New York Times on Cleveland's vacant lots. It gives you a little window into what's going on here on these very lots I'm cutting apart ...

16 comments:

Claire said...

This is seriously wonderful work. Full of energy, saying so much.

Alexis said...

This work is so incredible and moving. The little piles of cut-out lots have such a strong emotional impact. I think they should be displayed with the works in some way.

Lari Washburn said...

I agree with the above comments. It's the very meaning of art isn't it, what you are doing...bringing something human closer to us to see more clearly. And the quilts are so beautiful...such a juxtaposition to the pain of this situation.

kitty kilian said...

Great colours in this one. I can hardly wait to see them all together! Sadly your series is no getting any less urgent politically..

cynthia said...

I love, love, love this work you are doing. The stitching is sublime and the stories are heartbreaking but need to be told. It reminds me a lot of a piece I'm working on now. You can see it on my blog here: http://apatchofshade.blogspot.com/2011/07/remnants-series-in-progress.html

I can't wait to see more of your work and love the process photos! Thanks for sharing with us!

iNd!@nA said...

i'm really enjoying watching your work develop - so very generous of you to share, thank you

Victoria said...

Ditto to everything said. Wonderful and meaningful work. Seeing the added red patches to your blueprint is stunning and sad... so many added in such a short time.

The article was fascinating. The ashes to ashes dust to dust; birth, death and re-birth evolution of the land is something that never really crossed my mind before. And hearing a bit about those that once lived in these neighborhoods, and those that still do and remember it when, left me wanting to know more.
Thank you for sharing. xo

kathrynclark said...

Thank you everyone for your supportive comments. These are strange times we're living in right now. I'm hoping this piece ends with some hope in the form of green. @Indiana I'm working on trying to find the perfect green using plant suggestions from your book!

Sonya Philip said...

Re-entry is the hardest part. Enjoy your time in the studio, nothing better than a waiting project to ease back in. But $2000. Makes you think.

Katrina said...

i LOVE this series. i want to see a solo exhibition of all your foreclosure quilts. they are so lovely, and the concept is so compelling. cheering you on over here. xoxo.

kathrynclark said...

Aw, thanks Katrina. One of these days perhaps, fingers crossed!

MulticoloredPieces said...

I happened upon your blog while surfing the net and I would like to say "Bravo". There are many good blogs with really exceptional artwork, but sometimes it seems like eye candy. On the other hand, your Cleveland piece has "teeth" and I find that very refreshing. Once again, bravo!
best, nadia

Sophie Truong said...

ditto on aal of the above, keep it up! i love it unfinished as it is..

Ludid said...

your artwork is providing more awareness about the mortgage crisis. the human/personal aspect make them even more meaningful.

Peppermint Pinwheels said...

I agree with what Multicolored Pieces said. This is one of my favorite blogs because it's both beautiful and meaningful. Thank you!

Jaime Rugh said...

definitely a foreclosure exhibition!
quilt museums of the world,
take notice.
i love this work, and seeing your work table is such a treat.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails