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  1. We Will Walk: Art and Resistance in the American South

    Turner Contemporary, Margate

    Exhibition runs 7 February – 3 May 2020

    https://turnercontemporary.org/whats-on/we-will-walk/

     

    The exhibition will see a series of quilts from the isolated hamlet of Gee’s Bend (known today as Boykin) in Alabama go on display in the UK for the first time. These world-famous quilts have a distinctive style, and are often made from recycling old clothing such as blue jeans.  – Turner Contemporary website

     

    I am very lucky in that I live in a fifteen minute walk of the Turner Contemporary in Margate. When it was announced that this exhibition would feature a number of quilts from the famous Gee’s Bend Quilters, I knew that I would have to visit and report back on the quilts on show.

    The above link takes you to more information about the exhibition as a whole, but the focus is the on artists who lived through the civil rights struggle and it’s aftermath, within the southern United States. The exhibition takes place over a number of gallery spaces and features sculpture, photography, music and more. The exhibition is challenging, emotional, hard-hitting but also witty, filled with images and stories of hope and survival.

    The quilt fabrics used are some of the most basic including denim and corduroy but the design and top stitching really makes these quilts shine.

    I would urge a visit to the exhibition if you can make it but below I have posted some images of the quilts on show.

    All images attributed to Sian Morse

     

    Turner Contemporary Margate 

     

     

    THE TURNER CONTEMPORARY

    We Will Walk

       

    We Will Walk

    IMG_1591 

    INFORMATION ON GEE’S BEND

     

     

     Log Cabin  Louella Pettway

     

    Lazy Gal Variation

    Annie Mae Young 

    THE QUILTS ARE MADE OF BASIC FABRICS BUT THE ADDED SATEEN SHINES AGAINST THE DENIM

      

    Untitled Quilt

    Louisiana Bendolph 

    THE RED SATEEN SHINES ON THIS QUILT

      

    Medallion

    Pearlie Pettway Hall 

      SOME OF THE QUILTS ARE WELL USED AND WORN

     

    Quilt  IMG_1602

      

    Fabric Binding Fabric Binding

     AS THEY DESCRIBE, THE QUILTERS OF GEE’S BEND USED ANY FABRICS TO HAND TO MAKE THEIR QUILTS. IN THIS EXAMPLE, YOU CAN SEE THE PRINTED WORDS OF WHAT WAS PROBABLY A FLOUR SACK. YOU CAN ALSO SEE A SMALL STRIP OF BRIGHT FABRIC USED IN THE BINDING WHICH IS SO MUCH BRIGHTER THAN THE  FABRICS USED IN THE QUILT, SUGGESTING THAT THERE WAS ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF FABRIC IN THIS PATTERN AVAILABLE

      

    Basket Weave Variation Mary Lee Bendolph

     

     Log Cabin Loretta Pettway

      

     Log Cabin Log Cabin

      

    Blocks Quilt Block Quilt

    Polly Bennett

      

    Lazy Gal Quilt

    Annie Mae Young

     

     IMG_1621