the sun lights a fire across the horizon, gold everywhere

Fascinated by objects and writings that have been saved or passed down from previous generations, I seek to learn things about my family that I wasn’t able to before they passed away – in a way drawing closer to them, the woman closest to me and the two women that inspired and influenced her the most.

A journal of my mother’s shows her experiences that she hadn’t talked about before she died. She expressed her own thoughts and anguish about her mother dying at a young age and wrestled with death, loss, and love. She wondered what would happen to her grandparents and their house when they died, saying, “I became me there.” This is the place where she grew up, learned how to sew, struggled with her faith, and loved steadfastly. As the house sits in a state of decay, her words bring it to life and reawaken the land and the memories there. The land is a vessel that holds these memories, these words, and these experiences.

Just as the land holds memories, so do objects like quilts, which are sewn by one generation and passed down to the next. Similar to mourning quilts, the cyanotype quilt is made of garments belonging to these three generations of women and is based off of one passed down from my great-grandmother to my mother and now to me. Making this quilt has given me the space to grieve and reflect on these women, learning about them through craftwork. In the end, it becomes a new vessel of memories that will change gradually based on use over time, allowing one to think about information cherished verses information lost over generations.