Memory Sticks

Michele Walker

Archive Exhibitions (23 April to 30 May 2005)
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.

About The Artist

Michele Walker creates multi-layered quilts that unite personal testimony with social commentary. She was one of a small group of contemporary artists who helped to revive an interest in British quilt making in the 1970s and 1980s. Her interest in the tradition includes not only techniques, but also a fascination with the often unknown women who produced quilts; objects which are on the whole unsigned, undated and undocumented, but often retain within them a fading collective or personal memory.

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