Noho Pa'a 'Ole i ka ?ina

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Noho Pa'a 'Ole i ka ?ina
65 in
43 in
0.25 in
Photo Credit
Jos� Morales
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This quilt was inspired by SAQA's Diaspora exhibit. For recreation, I paddle outrigger canoes, and through that activity I have developed a healthy respect for the ocean and awe for the astounding feats of the Polynesians who braved the magnificent Pacific to end up in Hawaii. Living on the island of Maui, one is ever conscious of the presence of that deep blue ocean surrounding us with its unfathomable depths and vast distances to anywhere else. The underlying culture here is based on 9th century Polynesian ancestors who voyaged 16,000 miles of open ocean in seagoing canoes to populate the volcanic islands and atolls sprinkled sparsely across the vast Pacific Ocean. I am surrounded by descendants of those Polynesians, in particular one man whose features seem intriguingly emblematic of the Polynesian race. His surname even translates to "canoe builder." It is his image that evokes Kanaloa, god of the sea, rising behind a double-hulled ocean-voyaging canoe like those used by the early Polynesians to explore the trackless Pacific.
At the time I created this large quilt, I was experimenting with applying acrylic paint directly onto white denim. The result was an unwieldy and inflexible fabric painting, so I decided to dispense with batting entirely. Once painted, and with arrows and archipelago names stenciled, I had to attach a backing, then quilt this piece in three roughly horizontal sections that even then would barely fit as I manipulated each one within the confines of the throat of my sewing machine. Deciding where to divide the sections was tricky, as was reassembling the quilt atop the backing with raw-edge appliqu�. I painted over the stitches in front, and hand-stitched the backing over the segments in back.

Okay, I admit it�after fifteen years as an art quilter, I am still experimenting, still pushing the boundaries of my art, of painting, and combining it with quilting. I still don't sketch beforehand, and do not entirely think through a design from beginning to end. I consider every art and quilting technique I have learned over the years to be an amazing resource I am free to utilize in order to make manifest what my brain and hands work together to conjure.
White denim, acrylic paints, thread, muslin backing and binding.
Hand painted, machine quilted, appliqu�d, backed but not batted. Bound.

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