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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sacred Threads Exhibition: Beyond the Barrier part 2

This is the last post I have for the Beyond the Barrier exhibition, but not the last of my instalments about Sacred Threads. Sixteen quilts comprised this exhibition within an exhibition at the 2009 Sacred Threads exhibition.

All of them were wonderful, especially considering that many of the women who made the quilts for this portion had never quilted before. I can only imagine that obtaining the materials for this project was difficult.

Jami Burn's work certainly has achieved the goal of helping the women express themselves in a way which reaches out and communicates their stories to the world at large.

Lisa Ellis, who is the Webmaster (webmistress???) for Sacred Threads and also put together the CD of the show commented on the first installment I made about Beyond the Barriers. Her comment is as follows: " I hope that this special exhibit will be just the beginning for showing how quilts can be a powerful instrument of healing in our prisons. And for the viewers a new understanding and compassion. I'd love to see quilt guilds adopt their local women's prisons and provide materials, lessons, etc."

I agree whole heartedly. Think about all the places where people are trying to work through things. Battered women's shelters came to mind, but there are other areas as well where working with art quilts would be a fantastic healing tool. Certainly, quilters as a whole tend to be a compassionate lot and we do have an affinity for collecting fabric and tools. Perhaps some of the readers here might look to see what they can start in their communities, or when someone has to downsize their stash, perhaps they could donate it to a group like Jami Burns.

I have to say, of all the quilts in "Beyond the Barriers", this one was the most jaw dropping for me. Tangie Thomas made this quilt entitled "A Mother's Dream Shattered and Broken." The first photograph in this post is the front of the quilt and the image below is the back of the quilt.

Tangie's artist statement says it best and I wouldn't dare say anything more other than the images she created showing CeDanio as well as the lions are phenomenal. I think, and I may be wrong, that the image in the upper right represents her and her anger. The graphic quality as well as her renderings of the images is impressive. She is a true artist and I hope that I will be able to see what else she produces in the future or what she adds to her quilt.

"A mother dreams for her son. From the first moment I knew I was carrying him. The soft whisper in the night, as I would softly speak to him still a fetus in my womb. The music I played, the first time I felt him move inside of me. The birth of my little man.

The journey of growing myself as a parent; with a son, learning that being a single mom that I can not raise a man alone. I do need the help from the village.

From volunteering at daycare to high school, from the football team, where he made the cut and then quit, to the great karate can and undefeated champion. He was always a leader in what he said and did. CeDanio has always been someone who stood up for what he believes in. When he decided to join the army, I know that was something he needed to do. From taking care of his niece and nephew to helping a friend out, no matter what, and always unique, always the "bull", always CeDeno. Always my heart, my soul, my only son.

Now from stopping a fight to fighting for his life. Now with the frontal lbe brain damage, his personality gone, cognitive skills diminished and his sight gone, unable to communicate or even walk. My son, my heart, my soul, my son, my CeDeno. his is one mother's story.

A Personal note from the quilter: I am in my 40's and am serving a nine year sentence. I have three children, one son and two daughters. My quilt is for my son Cedanio who tried to stop two friends from fighting. He was stabbed in the eye and suffered severe brain damage. I am serving my sentence for protecting my daughters from his attacker. My quilt is not finished because Cedanio's life is not finished. There is still hope."

A note on the spelling: In the label copy, her son's name is spelled both CeDanio as well as CeDeno. I have made an exact copy of the text used on the quilt label.

1 comment:

Penny Schine Gold said...

Yes, this quilt stopped me in my tracks when I saw it at the exhibit. Stunning and heartbreaking.