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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Zanesville Art Museum Show: Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

One in Every Color by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

When I attended the opening of the SAQA-OH Creative Statements exhibition at the Zanesville Art Museum, I was completely taken by this quilt Patricia Kennedy-Zafred's  "One in Every Color" .  I'm not sure if I was attracted to it initially by what I call "the magpie effect"--being drawn to something because it is bright and shiny.

I am certain, however, this isn't the only reason it called to me.  For one thing, the crispness of the piece made me think at first that Patricia had actually sawed squirt guns in half and somehow affixed them to the quilt...but no.  She uses silk screening and other effects and works with acetate and vinyl to give her quilts this characteristic appearance.  While this photo, which Patricia supplied for me, doesn't show it too well, the quilt has texture, not only in the irradiating circle which suggests gunshot residue, but in the thin lines of holographic threads hanging from the piece and the stitching.

A group of us were standing talking with Patricia about the inspiration for this piece which caused a bit of levity.  As Patricia explained at the time and re-iterated in an email to me, "the actual concept of using multiple images in various colors came from a conversation shortly after that when I was at a dinner party, discussing the subject of hand guns, and was shocked to discover how many women at the party owned hand guns, and regularly carried them in their purses and/or cars.  That's when I thought of the idea of one in every color, much like a woman, upon finding something to wear that she loves, purchases 'one in every color'."  To which I commented about Glock actually making a Komen edition hand-gun specifically designed for women which is in the Susan G. Komen pink, with a portion of the sale donated to the breast cancer organization.  To which one of the attendees dryly noted "Well, that brings new meaning to feminine protection."

"One in Every Color" is exhibited next to her other piece in this show, called "The Photo Booth Shot."  At first, some of the visitors thought that there was a link between the two, but other than being by the same artist in a similar manner, they aren't related.  Patricia Explains:

The Photo Booth Shot, Patricia Kennedy-Zafred
Photo Booth Shot was created based upon a very small image of JFK and Jackie, taken in one of those coin photo booths when they were dating.  Apparently, JFK had cut this image from the strip, and carried it in his wallet for years throughout their marriage.  I found this image while researching photos for a quilt I was doing about Jackie, called The Pink Suit, which was recently exhibited in Inside/Outside the Box at Fiber Philadelphia.  When I stumbled on this sweet photo of them, I knew I had to use it (since it was no longer protected by copyright) in a future piece.  I then surrounded the image with various headlines regarding JFK's assassination.  

She also provided a photograph of "The Pink Suit" to share with you.  I love this one as well because of the super-imposition of the various shots of Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy from various points in her life and some being snapshot like photographs and others being more formal shots.  I'm so happy that I have been introduced to Patricia Kennedy-Zafred's work.  

You can see additional pieces on her Facebook page, Her "Painted Faces" series is just dynamite.  
The Pink Suit, Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

In an email, Patricia shared her artists statement with me as well as a description of how she works:

"My work is primarily image driven, and attempts to convey an experience or tell a story. Interpretation of the work is directly influenced by the experiences and memories of the viewer, with the intention to develop a personal connection to the piece.

The technique for what I call my "plastic quilts" I sort of invented back in the '90's, when I was quilting and widely exhibiting my work. In 1999, I took a full time job and unfortunately had no time to work in the studio. 

I was laid off in 2011, and began quilting again, starting a series of plastic pieces.  I have now also learned to silkscreen, and use that in combination with photo transfer on hand dyed fabric, particularly when I want the pieces to be larger.  The physical limitations of working with acetate and vinyl make it difficult to make the pieces very large, as the work doesn't bend or roll without easily, and is difficult to get under the sewing machine needle. 

The process is really a layering of images, hand dyed fabric, batting and backing.  I use a light box to carefully trace the image onto fabric, and then cut it exactly to fit under the image (as in the guns).  I have always loved leaving long tails on my threads, which sort of hang over the piece, especially if I'm using metallic or sliver threads."

Her methods make works which glow and vibrate.  The plastic really adds to it and the stitching and the hanging threads add more depth, dimension and texture.  

I love her work and I am so happy to have been exposed to it! I am looking forward to more!

1 comment:

Penny Mateer said...

Who knew there is an art museum in Zanesville?
Love Patty's work.
Thanks for the post.