"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Monday, June 18, 2012

nedra bonds

"The theme of this doll is an angel. She poses her hands and stands on tip toes, ready to take flight.

The wings are made from silk flower petals representing the symbol of my native Kansas, the sunflower. May the children always walk in sunshine.

Each bead represents a prayer offered to support the life of a child.

I used bark cloth, made in Uganda, as the primary fabric for the clothes.

I hope this effort helps make that theme a reality for as many children as possible."

- Nedra Bonds

“A contemporary art quilter, Nedra Bonds comes from a long line of traditional quilters. Both her paternal and maternal grandmothers quilted, as did her mother and father. Each child in the family had a ‘real’ quilt and a ‘play’ quilt. The real quilt went on the bed, and the play quilt was used by the children when taking naps. ‘Sunday’ quilts are also a part of Bonds’ heritage. Every Sunday the beds were covered in the best quilts, awaiting the admiring eyes of those who would come to Sunday supper. As a six-year-old, Bonds was told that idle hands were the Devil’s workshop and was encouraged to begin preparing a hope chest. To help her prepare that hope chest, Bonds’ grandmother taught her traditional quilting techniques. At that young age, Bonds was shown how to make ten stitches equivalent to the length between the tip of her forefinger and the first joint. If she failed at her task, she was required to remove the stitches and to start again. As a teenager, Bonds turned her back on the family tradition of quilting.

As an adult, a private-school and college art teacher, Bonds looked at the tradition with fresh eyes. Bonds, who embraces quilting as a fine-art form that has grown from a folk tradition, incorporates three-dimensional elements and a variety of textures and colors into her art quilts to interpret the world around her and express her views on various social issues. One of her best-known quilts is the Quindaro Story Quilt, a traditional appliqué quilt that tells the history of the Civil War settlement of Quindaro, Kansas. The quilt, approximately four by six feet and bordered in a bright yellow fabric, depicts black people who escaped slavery in Missouri and followed the Underground Railroad through Quindaro. In recent years, an eight-year battle was waged by environmentalists because the state had wanted to convert the Quindaro site into a landfill. The quilt was displayed during a Kansas legislative hearing on a bill that was to declare the Quindaro site a historic area, saving it from pollution. The quilt traveled for more than a year as a reminder of the important historical events in Kansas and the impact of those events on the United States in general. Quindaro did not become a landfill, and some community leaders attribute that, in part, to the creation of the Quindaro Story Quilt.”

- from The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! MJ