Quilt 2: Hidden Figures

Minimum Bid: $300

Front

Back

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Artist Notes: Hidden Figures

I took this title from the movie about the brilliant, Black women calculators behind the launch of John Glenn into orbit. There are other hidden figures everyday right in front of our eyes. Let us see those unseen.

 Originally, I had all the figures on the margins of a grey background I think of as the Shadowlands, the places where we don’t or can’t see much, where we need enlightenment. I rethought this background to be a set of pedestals, where the figures stand in front of the lightest areas, on top of the darkest ones, like so:

These are the figures I chose, hidden to my view.

A – Those suffering depression, particularly our youth. Could include other mental health issues.

B – The elderly, especially those alone or poor.

C and D – African Americans, youth and adult.

E – Our many incarcerated.

F – Native Americans (represented by the Dine’ on their land).

G – Our farm workers and immigrants.

H – The differently abled, including wounded veterans.

I and J – Homeless men and women.

K – Abused animals, in blue for their faithfulness.

L – Children in hunger, poverty or neglect.

M – Everyone I have not specifically represented. This could include LGBTQ Americans or Asian Americans, now under attack in parts of the US; people of faith, particularly those with outward symbols such as Jews, Sikhs or Muslims; workers who struggle for respect, or to make ends meet: teachers, care givers, truck drivers, food service staff, others; women, long underpaid and ignored.

Whom can you think of who goes unseen?

 This has been lightly quilted with unfinished circles. Like the pedestals are meant to raise up these figures into view, the circles are meant to draw attention, to provide halos for these figures. The halos recognize those we have lost, and the circles draw together the figures for comfort in their suffering or neglect. Notice that several circles each encompass a void, for those I have not specifically represented. The African American adult male is taken from a well-known photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Think of this circle above him as the moral arc of the universe, bending toward justice. He is accompanied by a silhouette I made from the photo of a Black woman doctor. So often Black people in our society are thought of as less than – less competent, less worthy – even when highly accomplished.

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