Thursday, August 5, 2021

Connecting Our Natural Worlds - SAQA Global Quilt Exhibit (day 1)

The Connecting Our Natural Worlds exhibit by SAQA showcases art quilts that illustrate the natural wonder of habitats around the globe. Through their own unique artistic interpretation, each artist has identified danger to flora and fauna in their own backyards. The selected pieces inspire viewers to get closer to nature and become better stewards for our environment.  We recently visited this outstanding exhibit at the Brigham City Museum in Utah.

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Morning Glory Pool by Patricia Gould (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

The visual impact of this piece was impressive due to the colors and the impression of depth that were created by the careful selection of fabrics and textures. Patricia Gould created Morning Glory Pool using raw edge applique, hand-turned applique, and free-motion stitching techniques. The materials used were cotton, silk, rayon, velvet, and handmade paper. We took closeup photos to show the exquisite detail of the quilting.

Patricia Gould says that Morning Glory Pool is one of her favorite geysers in Yellowstone National Park. However, the color and quality of the water has gradually changed over the years, from a beautiful blue and teal clean water to a yellow-orange color due to junk thrown into the pool by visitors.  She notes, "Unless humans around the globe change their attitudes about how critical it is to protect the Earth, we will not be able to save these unique and precious areas for the future."

Rough Water by Sarah Entsminger (Ashburn, Virginia) 

From a distance, Rough Water appears to be a landscape painting depicting water crashing onto rocks. However, fabric is used as the base for this wonderful piece. Sarah Entsminger created Rough Water by using hand-dyed fabric, ink, wax pastel, colored pencil, and acrylic paint. The techniques used were machine applique, machine quilting, and painting.

Sadly, the lakes, rivers, and streams of Virginia (and many other places) are heavily polluted with chemicals that threaten human and animal health. She notes, "Fish and other wildlife, as well as different plant species, are dependent on clean water for survival.  We must expand and enforce the provisions of the Clean Water Act and persuade industries to use safer alternatives to these toxic chemicals." 

Tears for Tahlequah by Karen Selk (British Columbia, Canada)

Tears for Tahlequah is a tribute to an orca whale named Tahlequah whose baby died within hours after birth. The other members of the pod helped to support her as she grieved the loss. This piece was created with unspun silk fibers, beads, and silk organza.  the materials were fused, machine stitched, hand stitched, and appliqued.  The "tears" (created with beads) can be seen in the closeup photo below.

As Karen Selk notes: the Orcas that live in the Salish Sea, which spans from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington, are in extreme danger. "We must protect their preferred food sources, diminish underwater noise, and reduce toxic pollutants that affect Orca populations."

Magical Creatures by Christine Holden (Sarasota, Florida)

Christine Holden created Magical Creatures with cotton, acrylic paint, and fabric pens, using the techniques of fused applique, fabric painting, thread painting, and free motion quilting.  This outstanding work of art depicts two Leafy Sea Dragons (Phycodurus eques) which are drifting along in their environment, closely resembling and blending with the seaweed around them. "Not quite fish and not quite plant, they are strangely beautiful and magical creatures."

Christine Holden notes, "Thanks to today's scientists and underwater photographers, these environments are being explored and documented." We admired her intricate applique work, which faithfully reproduces the details of these animals.  A closeup of the border, below, shows the use of charcoal and green batik fabric that brings to mind the colors and textures of the underwater world.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the Brigham City Museum in Utah. As of August 2021, many of the pieces can be purchased at the Connecting Our Natural Worlds web page.

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