Her Name was Laura Nelson, copyright 2004.
Quilt I in The Lynch Quilts Project.
90.5 " x 123.5 "
The Lynch Quilts Project is a community-based effort, which explores the history and ramifications of racial violence, specifically lynching, in the United States through the textile tradition of quilting. This project consists of a series of 6 quilts tackling the lynching phenomenon from various perspectives including but not limited tocollective memory, communal conflict/healing, gender, healing and politics. The quilts combine a variety of traditional and contemporary quilting techniques to examine how the past, present and future are intricately connected.
The physical expression of this project is revealed when the softness and malleability of fabric intersects the hard and steady puncture of the needle. The act of sewing opens and reveals, then comforts and hides the complexity of the history and ramifications of racial violence and intolerance. Each stitch acts as a guide on the journey towards this possible future. Quilts and the quilting process epitomize reclamation and rediscovery. Quilting is about piecing together remnants of fabric and lost history, reclaiming tossed garments and forgotten lives, stitching together all of these fragments into a whole cloth that reflects a more balanced and total view of history, revealing multiple truths along the way.
The historic roots of quilting lie within the context of the communal circle. Thus, as the fabric can absorb the pain and the needle can guide the way through the process, the act of circling to sew for healing acts as the balancing force in the face of the legacy of lynching, leading the way towards a more tolerant and healed community. Quilt making is a complex or simple mundane task, which can produce wonderfully beautiful objects that are both utilitarian and necessary. And these are the same characteristics needed to build a new society.
From this beginning this project was grounded in the communal experience. In an effort to bring as many people to the table in this discussion about race and lynching, a request for fabric contributions was sent out nationwide utilizing a letter writing campaign to a variety of art, community and activist organizations, as well as web-based outlets such as list serves, blogs and discussion forums. Fabric contributions have included wedding dresses, baby bibs, prom dresses, material taken from altars, handmade and hand dyed material, old quilted pieces and the literal shirt off someones back, all of which are used in the construction of the quilts in this series.
The first quilt in the series, Her Name Was Laura Nelson, was completed in 2004 and since its debut has been exhibited in a variety of venues with diverse populations. At each showing viewers have the opportunity to record their stories and opinions concerning issues of ethnic conflict in a project journal and contribute a piece of fabric to the project. To date, countless stories and more than 100 lbs. of fabric donations have been collected.
So to all the brave men and women taking on this project, thank you!
LaShawnda Crowe Storm
my business copyright 2000 no animals were harmed in the making
TheLynchQuiltsProject.com is owned and maintained by the artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm. Copyright 2011. All artwork and text on TheLynchQuiltsProject.com are the protected property of LaShawnda Crowe Storm. All artwork copyrights are held by the artist LaShawnda Crowe. No written materials or images of artwork from TheLynchQuiltsProject.com may be stored, used, or distributed without the written permission from LaShawnda Crowe Storm.
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