Saving Cloth and Ecosystems: Telling the Story of Ecology through Quilts
Maura C. Flannery, Division of Computer Science, Mathematics and Science, College of Professional Studies
The resurgence of interest in quilting in the 1970s coincided with a burgeoning concern about environmental issues. While I am not arguing that there was a single cause for both phenomena, I do contend that they are not totally unrelated. Quilting, in part, grew out of an interest in preserving the past, as environmentalism grew out of a desire to at least preserve present natural environments, and in some cases to reconstruct those of the past. Quilting was related to the women’s movement, to women becoming more aware of their heritage and more willing to devote themselves to arts that felt comfortable to them. Many quilters used the patterns of the past, while others developed the art quilt. Some of this work has a frankly environmental theme. In the forum, I will present the work of several of quilt artists and the impact of their artworks. I will also examine how art, craft, biology, and feminist issues can all be viewed through the quilting lens.