October 6, 2011

Transracial Abduction (Fugitive Media part 2)

As promised, here is the finished product of my first fugitive media experiments.  It's called "Transracial Adoption" (explanation for the name at the end of the post.)

But now, to the explanation of the "how". 

The original "finish" had these brassy-gold beads sewn around the edge. 

But as always happens when I add beading, I didn't like it when it was done. It didn't add anything and in fact, I think took away from the lovely hand-dyed fabrics

Hey, speaking of those fabrics, they're the ones from THIS series of posts.  But back to the beads, I never like them when I add them.  I think I'm just not a bead kind of girl.  Which is pretty shocking, given how much of a magpie I am.

But speaking of shiny things, something I did add and love was a little gold at the tips of the petals and to highlight some of the lines/veins in them.

I also used ordinary gel pens to add a little more definition with a good result,

And the final touch was to add some script with this Micron pen,

Which is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago:

Transracial Abduction

Lishanthi tells me
my blouse and earrings remind her of "home"
and smiles,
a soft light in her eyes.

I smile too,
warm in her afterglow
while she speaks of home:

         food and comfort
         and cousins both big and little who play

it's small

but large with mama and aunties
who laugh and scold and call
“Come in this house now!”

and generations stretch out behind them like trees,
like afternoon shadows,

like a road to her heart's beginning.

And as she talks,
love runs through every word.

I nod and smile, and laugh along,
alone .

I wished I knew,
and felt lonely for a home I never had.

Kit Lang (c) 2008

When I first made the flower, I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but as soon as I combined it with my hand-dyed fabrics, I immediately "saw" my poem, and knew that it would reflect the beauty and warmth of Lishanti's version of "home"; while the dark shadows of the purples and lilacs expressed my longing for one like hers.

In a way, I'm sorry that this piece is just a journal quilt (or "sketch" as I call them); because it feels like a bit of a waste to have used those fabrics that I loved so much.  On the other hand, because it is a sketch, there's so much room for development, so I could do a series that would evolve - both the techniques and the story.

This piece also caused a fair amount of acrimony in our household - both because of it's subject matter and BSP's firm assertion that "art should be pretty". BSP added that no one would want something "so depressing" to hang in their home. (!)

After a couple of days, we agreed to disagree, and I'm sure you'll see me revisit this subject again in the future. With or without BSP's stamp of approval. ;)



Living to work - working to live said...

Kit - I like this piece very much and love the use of the gold leaf pen. Stick with the beading. It took me a long time to get used to using beads but now I use them a lot.

I like your poem. Now that is where I do have a block - words in art. But I know it is the next challenge I have to overcome.



This is beautiful. The poem and the work. I found the words very moving and it is definately something that you should explore further.

quilthexle said...

I love the idea of you exploring this further. In a way I understand your BSP's resentments - but I think your piece IS indeed beautiful. The poem has a sad note to it, but to me, it does not sound hopeless. And visually, is is just very lovely!!

Itsbugart said...

That is gorgeous!!! I don't think it is depressing at all. Melancholy maybe, but that is not the same thing.

Beth from Maine said...

I love your piece and I love your poem. Art doesn't have to be pretty. Art is a form of expression. I wouldn't call Dali, Pollack, or Picasso's cubist work "pretty". Art is what it is. Your poem is so lovely and so is your visual representation of the poem.

Rosa said...

Your piece is absolutely awesome,I love it.
I like your poem.

renzo pella said...

absolutely beautiful Kit...the piece and the poem.

Diane said...

Your flower is beautiful. It reflects the beauty in the words of your poem that speaks to the readers heart; whether in a sharing of Lishanti's version of home or your longing for one like hers. It touched me on a deeper level than just visual.

I am a "conservative embellisher" myself- :) ha!
Your use of bead and pen certainly adds to your piece. ++

Deborah Joy said...

Kit, from one adoptee to another, this is absolutely moving and beautiful. It is so important to tell our stories; and doing it through the beauty and meditation of quilting and poetry - or any other form of art - brings a whole new dimension to the telling. Brava!

Kit Lang said...


Hi Renzo, nice to "see" you here. :)

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.


Kit Lang said...

@DJ - Thanks for leaving your thoughts - you know how important this stuff is to me/to us. xo

Crystal said...

This is beautiful! I like "pretty" art but I love beautiful art. True beauty comes in many forms.

In addition to the beautiful colors and composition, there is the beauty of your poem, the beauty of sadness, of strength, of family, of love.

There is the beauty of meaning, of feeling something when you look at a piece of art. This piece has it all...I'm so happy you included that poem!

Jodi said...

I agree about the beads, Kit. It's lovely without them. And the poem? It speaks volumes. Like a friend who only reads funny books/movies, she's missing out on a wonderful depth of emotion and feeling that's part of the beauty of life. I would hang it in my home for sure!

Becky said...

It's beautiful! It evokes emotion! It's art! I love the poem. Very touching! Love, love, love it!!

Alexis said...

It's lovely Kit. It's complex, beautiful and poignant... like fall flowers. I could spend all of a gray day contemplating....

Vicki W said...

I think it's a beautiful piece. I would imagine that your poem would speak to all adopted people, regardless of the circumstances.

Connie said...

I love it. Journal quilts are so personal. It is what it's meant to be.

Kit Lang said...

@Connie - sorry Connie, you're a no-reply blogger, so I'm thanking you here, should you come back.

Thank you! :)

Karen S said...

Nice poem -- rather wistful. Love the artwork!

Kimberly said...

I agree with you that art doesn't have to be pretty (though I disagree that this piece isn't pretty). I think a lot of people would hang this in their home. My husband and I will likely be parents in a transracial adoption as we plan on adopting older children that want to be adopted together that haven't family to go to and in Texas most of these sibling groups are either Hispanic or black. I think this would be an excellent reminder to like parents to do what they can to help their child feel less isolated.

catsmum said...

actually a lot of art lecturers would probably tell you that art shouldn't be pretty.
I think it's wonderful, thought provoking, evocative [ and beautiful ... not pretty ... beautiful ]

Kit Lang said...

Thanks Catsmum! BSP and I certainly agree to disagree a lot - and I can certainly hold my own - but it's nice to have my opinions validated by an outside source! ;)

Living to work - working to live said...

Kit, I have just revisited this post. A few months on and I still like this piece of yours. The colours are really striking. H

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