A Quilt Poetics – Radka Donnell
Quilting is a primal women’s art form related to the intimacy of the bed and to the home.
Cloth is the body’s intimate covering. The bed is the charged site of birth, death and sex. The quilt is tactile and sensual and is itself a charged site.
Now, quilts risk being depersonalized and divorced from their domestic roots. They are so popular they have become trivialized and are just hobby art. We must reclaim the quilt and restore to quilts their original emotional power.
For generations of American women quilts were:
Expression of nurturing
Device for bonding (gifts)
Ritual and sacred markers of major life-cycle events
Reproduction (women’s work) is the magic Mystery.
Accomplishing a ‘carry over’ of emotion into a quilt is a major task, as is creating the space in one’s life to accomplish the work of a quilt.