New Dawn

This is one of a series of quilts about birds as symbols of freedom and the joy if life. It was made in the year 2000 to celebrate the dawning of the new millennium.

To me the phoenix is a beautiful symbol of the ability of beauty to rise out of and above decay and destruction. The transition to a new millennium gave us a reason to think about what was good about the old millennium, and what we would like to change. It gives us a chance to focus our visions and make new and positive choices for ourselves and for our world.

Since the phoenix is a mythical bird, there are no photographs of it. The phoenix in my quilt is made up from my imagination. I spent several days drawing wing feathers and heads of real birds to get the feeling of how feathers work together, and how they relate to the rest of a bird. My phoenix is a composite of many different elements from many different birds. Since the wings form a circle (symbol of wholeness) the feathers had to be designed to fit the contour of this geometric shape. A spiral (symbol of new growth and reemergence) of "flying geese" emerge from the mouth of the poenix. They are made from a gradation of rainbow colors , symbolizing light, and the energy of life.

The phoenix itself is made from a variety of iridescent and metallic fabrics. The eye is made of laser foil, and changes color as the viewer moves from side to side. The long tail of the phoenix is intertwined with the flames, which have consumed the old phoenix, and from which the new phoenix is rising. As the phoenix rises from the flames, it is about to fly through a portal of black white and grey, toward clear skys and unlimited possibilities beyond. In the corners of the portal are a golden sun and a fire colored sun. These represent energy that can be either nurturing or destructive. Our choice.
Cotton, synthetics
Hand dyed and painted, machine pieced and quilted