This is a close up of part of a quilt poster I recently made concerning an issue of growing importance; that of the enormous number of waste plastic bottles which are clogging up landfill sites and floating around in the worlds rivers, lakes and oceans.
The quilt was made in response to a SAQA call for entry to create a textile poster. I have been thinking for a while about the subject of my entry and it was and whilst I was out walking on the beach that I made my decision. After a big storm out at sea a lot of debris had been washed up and I was astonished at the huge amount of plastic waste that was now beneath my feet on the normally pristine beach. Plastic bottles of all kinds littered the sand - the vast majority of which were - rather ironically - water bottles. I didn't have my camera with me, but this photo by Ben Salter shows what it looked like, and also shows this is a common problem all over the world.
One of the things I really enjoy is when I can get a glimpse into how others 'make the work they make', so I thought I would share some photos of the process I went through in making this quilt.
The background started off as a sun print - I was trying out using soy milk again and ended up with this rather pale and ordinary looking piece of cloth.
In my sketchbook I had been playing around with 'H2O' and liked the way it all lined up - so I decided to make some stencils to add on top of the sun printed background. At this stage I wasn't sure it was working.........
For the landfill section I made bottle shaped stamps from lino - I tried to choose distinctive bottle shapes.....
Then on to the tap - I drew several in my sketchbook and this is a hybrid of them all. I used a piece of grey hand dyed fabric that I made years ago for one of the ostrich quilts - I knew it would come in handy one day. That fabric is well travelled as it came all the way to New Zealand from South Africa!
For the tap water I used a variety of different threads and wool remnants, and for the bottle another old piece of hand dyed fabric. I can't remember which quilt I dyed it for, but I thought the colour was perfect to go onto the blue background.
And finally the dark blue letters - more fabric from the ostrich quilts - this was originally used for part of the sky.
And here it is all together. It was a nice quilt to make - not too complicated at all - and I hope it sends the message clear and loud.
A few days ago I had the great news that the quilt was selected to be part of the SAQA touring exhibition named 'Textile Posters'. It is You can read more about it here. Unfortunately I wont be able to see the exhibition in person, but I had a lovely email from Brenda Wroe who is going and she has kindly offered to take lots of photos for me!
I have also had an email from Martha Sielman at SAQA who tells me that at the SAQA conference in Lincoln at the end of April she will be presenting a mock-jurying program using quilts from this call for entry. I think it is a great idea, and am sorry I wont be there to see it, as not only will it be interesting to hear how the whole process works, but also any information that helps people understand the criteria used to select quilts for exhibition will give people confidence to enter. If you are attending - I hope you get to see this presentation - and let me know how it went!
Thanks for reading.