When my daughter and I got back from our pilgrammage trip to Italy in 2005, I had a disk full of over 700 photos, blisters all over my feet, and a killer tan! So, when I had the opportunity last year in February to exhibit at a gallery here in town, I decided that after a year and a half, it was time to use the experience to create new work. In 2 weeks, I had 10 new pieces, including 4 specifically dealing with the trip.
I started going thru the pictures and my (HUGE!) fabric stash, and pulling together elements that really spoke to me. This first piece is called Shroud I (full view on right) and combines fabric that I hand-dyed in a workshop at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium, as well as commerical fabrics, fabrics I purchased, and a lot of machine quilting.
The fabric I dyed really reminded me of a chest x-ray, so I wanted to echo that in my machine quilting. The screen printed fabric I bought was part of a big scrap bag, and it says "the same underneath" over and over in small letters. To me it was the missing piece of the puzzle, and tipped the scales!! I couldn't work fast enough.
After this was complete, I had to do another piece, Shroud II, that includes photographs taken in Italy. There is a photo from Pompeii, of the casts made 100 years ago from the empty spots left in the ash where people had died.
The only thing remaining was the space their bodies left when they decomposed, and in some instances, their skull and a few bones. The bottom photo is of Pope Innocent, where he lies under one of the altars in St. Peter's in Rome. Again, I used my hand-dyed fabric, and the screen-printed piece that says "the same underneath".
I was very pleased with the way these pieces turned out, and this year I'm scaling up, planning much larger pieces in the same theme.