Friday, September 24, 2010

Exotic Flair on a traditional American Medium

What could be more decorative than this art quilt - which means it belongs on a wall not on a bed. It is entirely handquilted with silk and finally handpainted. Inspired by the apsaras bas-reliefs in Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Indian Epic Mahabharata this beautiful wallhanging will be an eyecatcher for every room. You can find the links to various stages at the end of this post.

There is something very personal about this art quilt because it brought me back to painting. While other artists, coming from the media “painting” suddenly turn their interest into working with fabrics and textiles, in my case it was totally the other way round. While I may go back to quilting from time to time and "test" my inspirations on rather unusual themes and materials again, it was the creation of fabric images and quilting that brought me back to painting, that I stopped doing for various reasons many many years ago.

The “Apasara” motifs existed in my head a long time before I even travelled to Southeast Asia. Memories from the 70′s and Indian influences that flooded the western countries during the hippy era already existed in rudimentary pieces in my brain. Through the years of travelling I developed a greater interest for the culture of the Khmer and I studied many photo documentaries in books and on film.

Although I have never been in Cambodia physically I got to know the country and its people through tales and contacts outside the country itself – many Cambodians still live in exile and have found new homes.

I have shown this art quilt a couple of times in various vignettes and now I want to show you the details of this piece.

52" x 69", silk art quilt
©Petra Voegtle



The following pic shows the back of this quilt which has been embellished addtionally with hand applications of satinee leaves.

The last 3 pics show the hand stitched, intricate details of the dancer's jewellery.




If you would like to know more about the background and "making of" this beautiful art quilt please check this link
Please use these links to get an impression of how this art quilt appears in the environment of a beautiful room: interior1, interior2 and interior3

Btw - this quilt has been juried into and shown at the main show of the big International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2004. Citizens of Houston will know what this means...


Anonymous said...

Dear Petra, I am fascinated by the way in which quilts of all kinds, shapes and sizes seem to be an integral part of so many American lives. I never realised the extent of this passion before my weblogging days but now, through the Blogosphere I am very aware of what an impact they make to cultural and everyday life for so many Americans.

The quilt you show here is so very different, however, from others I have seen.It is aptly termed by you an 'Art Quilt' since that most certainly is what it is. The workmanship, the colours and the choice of fabrics definitely show a painterly eye for detail and texture. Lovely!

Unknown said...

Dear Edith, thank you very much for your comment.
The terminus "art quilt" though is not invented by me - it is a whole different class of quilts which have found their entrance into the world of quilt exhibitions allover the globe. I think Houston hosts the world's largest exhibition of art quilts once each year besides all the traditional pieces.

I myself came in contact with quilts about 12 years ago on a fair for handicraft and tools in Munich where I saw Amish quilts for the first time. I was so fascinated by the workmanship that I started to learn more about quilts and even make them myself.
My whole professional artistic career, especially my exhibitions started with quilts in the USA!

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