Checks & Balances

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Checks & Balances
93 in
65 in
(236 cm x 165 cm)
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This quilt is a visual interpretation of a philosophical concept. "Checks and Balances" is a term most of us first heard in our high school civics classes, an idea to which we aspire in government and in the world around us, and often fall short. Perhaps the best way to achieve balance is to look within or possibly create it in our art.

Several years ago, when I first moved to my Paducah Kentucky studio, I attended a performance of yoga dance by Sarah Brumgart. I was enthralled by her artistry, and having just begun classes in yoga and pilates myself, I was astounded by the strength, flexibility, and balance she had achieved through a lifetime of gymnastics, dance and yoga. After four years of regular practice, I have found additional strength, flexibility, and balance myself, although I only aspire to some of the positions depicted in this quilt.

My whole life I have been enamored with dance, although I didn't learn how to dance until after my 60th birthday. I always imagined it would feel like flying, a recurring theme in my quilts. It is also the ultimate collaborative art, involving visual, musical and kinetic art in a single performance. Through weekly ballroom lessons I have discovered the joy of dancing, and I'm happy every moment I am dancing. My interest in physical movement has given rise to an ongoing series of works that include the human form.

In this piece the dancers are abstract and their colors change as the lines forming the green and purple checks in the background flow through their bodies. This creates the illusion that the dancers are translucent. Shadows were drawn into the background fabrics so the dancers seem to float in front of the checks. Smaller dancers are quilted into the background in contrasting thread.

Process and Technical Details:
I began the design for this quilt by getting as many pictures as I could find of people doing yoga or pilates poses. I chose eighteen poses and drew silhouettes of the bodies. I knew that I would not be using all of them, but I wanted a variety of drawings to play with while developing my composition. All of the line drawings were scanned into the computer and converted to vector shapes in Corel Draw.
fabric: 100% cotton / batting: 100% cellulose
Machine pieced and quilted