“Within this context, the adoption of the quilt medium, in preference to the higher status options of painting and sculpture, may be seen as a political act, aimed at affirming and perpetuating a woman’s tradition of art”.
Michele Walker uses quilting techniques as a metaphor for the complex social and personal histories that make up the fabric of our lives.
Maker Unknown, her new commission for Fabrica, is a haunting sculptural work, developed in response to her inquiry into sashiko, a traditional, Japanese quilting technique employed by women to make work clothing. In 2003 Michele was awarded a three-year Arts & Humanities Research Board Fellowship (AHRB) at the University of Brighton, to facilitate her research into its practice. Totemic in feel, this installation is an outsider’s perception of rural Japanese life, a response to a fading tradition and an acknowledgement of its marginalised workers.
Memory and identity are repeated themes in Michele Walker’s work. Memorium, also on display in the exhibition, is a plastic and wire wool quilt stitched in the pattern of her own skin. Made in 2002, this piece evolved from the artist’s memories of her mother’s mental decline and subsequent loss of identity.
Total Vistor Numbers: 8, 383
Brilliant and moving pieces, well articulated in the process and history of each individual art work. That speaks power and strength, but at the same time calms my soul.
Very refreshing because it is novel and certainly conveys a thought. In our world today we need thinkers. Those who are prepared to do a new, helpful thing to stimulate us. Well done! It represents a lot of hard work – Thank you!
A contemplative experience
Photograohs by Philip Carr