The word issued to us for this challenge was Icon. I had to give this one a little think. Its got a huge connotation to it, could go in so many different directions. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to do a person, a woman. An artist? A poet? A musician?
How about all three?
I chose Ani Difranco. She is a singer, song writer, activist, loud mouth, unabashed, tell-it-like-it-is, political woman. She says what she thinks and makes no apologies. I have been fascinated with her music for years now and often find myself playing her albums when I am in the studio, looking for the zone to sink into so I can get some serious work done.
She is the kind of brave that I hope to be someday.
You may not agree with her politics or what she has to say, but you have to admire that she stands up and says it without apology. She is an icon of the music industry.
I knew that I wanted to use a photo of Ani in the quilt but I didn't want it to be just plunked down and glaring. I wanted something that was scuffed up looking, rough around the edges - a prominent part of the composition but not bold all at the same time.
I found this photo on flickr and asked the photographer if I could make a thermofax screen out of it. I received a yes and was off and running.
I pulled brown fabric from the stash that was discharged in a folded pattern and some vibrant orange hand dyed cotton. Ani is not quiet with her lyrics and music and I didn't want to do a low volume piece.
I did three layers of thermofax screen printing. First up is a scuff print of the photo:
The second layer of printing was an all over text and then the third is an abstract coffee cup stain design.
I hand stitched the piece in a neon yellow perle cotton thread in bold graffiti like stitches.
I like the contrast, the push and pull of the colors against each other.
It was fun to explore a piece that expressed what I feel when I listen to Ani's music. I'm happy I got to honor her in this challenge.