Art Quilt: Heart of the Galaxy

It has been somewhat of a lifesaver this year, just spending time with the themes for the SAQA calls for entries. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a fan of assignments and always tried to find a work around when I was in school. But I've learned how to take a deep dive, do some research, and find out what I want to say in relation to the themes.

I’ve had a photograph from a New York Times article by Dennis Overbye of the supermassive black hole, the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy, taken by the MeerKAT radio telescope in northern Africa, pinned to my bulletin board for over a year and a half. Something about the image reminded  me of printmaking and I've spent time gazing at it, wondering how and when and if I would try to capture it. The clouds and sparks evoke scratches and fire and mystery. The black hole itself is four million times greater than our sun, larger and older than all of us. Electrical activity, the heart around which our galaxy revolves, became a source of awe and inspiration for the new art quilt, Heart of the Galaxy. The theme for the call for entry: "Fierce Planets."

Heart of the Galaxy
43”w x 28”h
Hand-dyed silk and velvet; faux leather; repurposed corduroy pants; silk organza; fabric paint; embroidery thread; masked and painted; hand and machine quilted

The red and orange-gold colors are hand-dyed silk, attached with free-motion stitching. The silk organza is tacked down with a variety of colors of embroidery thread, letting it billow here and there.

There is a cutout on the back where the orange oval is. If it is lit a certain way, it will glow a bit.