Lehigh University
Anna Chupa

Department of Art Architecture and Design 17 Memorial Dr E
Bethlehem, PA
18015

chupaanna1@gmail.com

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Artist Information for Anna Chupa

Each quilt is an original, digitally designed image with a girih–tiled center medallion and floral border or a girih sky with an urban landscape montage all derived from my photographs of vernacular architecture, family gardens and botanical gardens. I extract the photographic subjects from their backgrounds and rearrange them into new compositions. In this way, my piecing is digital.

The word girih is an Arabic word for knot used by Peter J. Lu in his 2007 paper on Decagonal and Quasi-Crystalline Tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture. The girih tile set consists of five tiles: a decagon, a pentagon, a rhombus, a hexagon and a bowtie (concave hexagon).

Pieces, Petals, Leaves and Eaves is a collection of wholecloth quilts designed from photographs of flowers and vernacular architecture in historical Pennsylvania neighborhoods, specifically Allentown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Digitally printed on cotton, these images are constructed with three basic elements.

1. A girih tiling background in which architecture and botanicals are sampled at various scales,
2. Architectural elements selected out from photographic images based on object/subject features and composited into a new urban landscape, and
3. A transitional layer with alpha blending between the girih `sky` on top and architectural montage on the bottom.

The space created is fanciful but plausible where buildings and parts of buildings maintain their vertical orientation. There are scale discontinuities and reflections over a vertical axis but no rotations. Depth is compressed as in Byzantine mosaics and lighting is often arbitrary.

The architectural montage at the base and the girih `sky` seem unrelated visually; a transition is needed to tie them together. A gradient fade applied between the girih tiling and the architectural layers provides a transition between fading girih tiles and apparent atmospheric perspective in the top of the urban landscape. Faux borders are generated from collected leaves.

Images scroll down to view all

Blue Quilt

Blue Quilt68 w x 70 h  

Blue Quilt is an original, digitally designed pattern with a girih–tiled center medallion and floral borders derived from my photographs of family gardens and botanical gardens. I extract the photographic subjects from their backgrounds and rearrange them into new compositions. In this way, my piecing is digital.



Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Allentown West Park

Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Allentown West Park35.5 w x 46 h  

The West Park historical district has fascinating rooflines. I live in Allentown Pennsylvania and this is my neighborhood. The day I photographed was a beautiful bright sunny and crisp October day. The hydrangea and dusty pink rose were photographed on one of the streets bordering my corner property.



	Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Bellevue Park

Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Bellevue Park36 w x 45 h  

Bellevue Park is a neighborhood in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that stretches between William Harris and Bishop McDevitt High Schools.



Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Bala Cynwyd

Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Bala Cynwyd35 x 46.5  

The day I photographed Bala Cynwyd it was raining lightly. The sky was grey and never brightened up enough for porch lights to turn off. Red zinnias, blacked eyed susans and pink berries were particularly bright in the grey light.



Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: South Bethlehem

Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: South Bethlehem35 w x 45.5 h  

This urban landscape combines two neighborhoods in South Bethlehem, the area surrounding Cherokee, 3rd, Wyandotte and Brighton Streets and the area around Montclair, Birkel and West Packer Avenues near Lehigh University where I teach.