Thursday, October 14, 2021

Electronic Intrusion

In keeping with our Day of the Dead theme, we are featuring a quilt from artist Sandy Small Proudfoot.  Sandy hails from the town of Mono, in the province of Ontario, Canada. She taught quiltmaking in Toronto for 10 years, during which time she was accepted into the very selective Ontario Art and Design University, where she earned a diploma. Her quilts have been juried into worldwide Mancuso quilt shows. As you can see below, she has a wonderful sense of style and perspective. 

Many thanks to Sandy for her generosity in sharing her photos and descriptions with Quilt Inspiration!

Electronic Intrusion by Sandy Small Proudfoot ,Ontario, Canada. 

Long-arm machine quilted by Mary Light, Ontario, Canada


Sandy writes,  "Cell phones are both a blessing and a curse.  Distracted driving often ends up in fatalities and life-changing accidents.  This quilt, while addressing the subject in a somewhat  playful manner, speaks to the improper use of electronic devices. The portrayal of the pre-Columbian festival Dia de Los Muertos (Mexican Day of the Dead) finds a sugar-masked corpse hanging from a cross of cellphones.The depth on the skeleton’s shroud was attained through three dimensional placing of the cloth by softly folding the material vertically.  
 
Tiny cadavers dance mischievously amongst brightly coloured marigolds, the Flor de Muerton/Flowers of the Dead which decorate cemeteries at festival time.  Set against a lively print background depicting the vibrational energy emitted by cellphones, it is a reminder that distracted driving can end in tragedy." 
 
 She continues, " I work in the old fashioned way of applique, always, hand turning the edges, adjusting my curves with my needle.   I no longer press the individual patches given that the material used during the decade of the nineteen-seventies was a cotton-polyester broadcloth, (one hundred percent cotton was difficult to find during that period of time unfortunately) and because of the difficulty of working with this cloth, I used to press each patch with a hot steam iron, thus, without knowing, I was releasing the toxic material from my cloth into my respiratory system.  It has impacted on my health since that time.
(My website: https://sandysmallproudfoot.com contains an article on the Toxicity of Textiles)

 
Close-up, Electronic Intrusion, by Sandy Small Proudfoot
 

What a creative way to emphasize a very important message!  This design is extremely innovative and original, especially the way that the dark cross exemplifies the screen of a cell phone with its colored apps. Sandy has created an excellent sense of dimensionality, with the blue background which looks like the heavens lit from behind the sky, and the skeleton with its shroud looks very three-dimensional also.  We really like the brilliant use of contrasting colors to show the Flor de Muertos, or the marigolds at the base of the cross, with the dancing cadavers. 

Sandy's quilt really caught our eye, because of its color, symmetry, and design elements. The deep blue background fabric which represents the heavens looks as if it has been lighted from behind, which enhances the bright orange and green buttons of the cellphones.  We think her work is exceptional !

Sandy would also like to thank those quilt artists and designers who accepted her invitation to teach at the First Canadian Quilt Conference, which Virginia Avery later termed, a Symposium. Sandy says, " Without the impact of seeing the work of Jean Ray Laury, Beth and her then husband, Jeffery Gutcheon, Virginia and Michael James, I would not have been so inspired in realizing that a quilt was more than just two layers of cloth with batting in between, but that a quilt was also a form of art and design. It wasn’t something I’d related to before as I was a traditionalist in my teaching and making quilts. Jean, Jeffery and Virginia are honoured in the Quilters Hall of Fame now and although names that may not be familiar to quilters today, they were the forerunners of a very different style of design created on quilts during the early part of the nineteen-seventies and thereafter."

Image credits:  Images are shown with permission of Sandy Small Proudfoot.  All Rights Reserved.

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