I was inspired by the Facebook Challenge called "The Skin We Are In" from the Bad Ass Quilters Society from Chattanooga TN. They were inspired by Kathy Nida's art quilt with female nudity that was pulled from an American Quilt Society's quilt show in Grand Rapids, MI last August. I had never heard of Kathy or her work so the controversy got her name out in cyber space/social media and her art quilts of women, often nude and with subjects such as homelessness, birth and female reproduction. Bad Ass Quilters Society is already mad at the Quilt Police and the over conservative judgement of quilters who don't fit into their idea of what a quilt "should" be. I have also fallen victim to the Quilt Police and find myself on the support side of art is art and nudity in art is not a bad thing but another form of art expression.
So the challenge is online only at the Bad Ass Quilters Society's Facebook page for viewing-no prizes and nothing is traveling to quilt venues.
I was inspired by Carmen Miranda, Las Vegas showgirls and Brazil's Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. The point I was making was even though the breasts are exposed the emphasis is on all the vast ornamentation of head dress, garments and jewelry. I decided to create a topless Carmen Miranda like image. Back in the early 1990s I had the opportunity to take doll making classes from California's Eleanor Peace Bailey. She is so awesome and was very colorful and trendy and I was automatically drawn to her aura! I purchased several of her witch, mermaid and fairy doll patterns. All her patterns had "boobs" which was a circle of fabric turned under and hand tacked to the chest area. Polyfil was used to stuff the breasts and then the nipples were created by hand stitching them into place. Derwent Inktense pencils were used to draw in the areola. I forgot about the whole thing then really looked at the mermaid doll hanging forever in my bathroom and the idea resurfaced!
This quilt is full of embellishments:
1. Rainbow rick rack in the binding like a flange.
2. Pointy Christmas ornaments on the skirt waistband.
3. Black with multicolor metallic tulle as the sleeves and the skirt waistband. Two types of trims are hand tacked to each of these. The one trim is also hand tacked to form the bra band and halter straps.
4.Real beaded drop earrings were used for earrings. The coordinating necklace was repurposed for bracelets.
5. I had the plastic fruit beads from leftovers from a 1980s necklace which I hand tacked on. More of the beaded necklace used for the bracelets also used for another necklace and a Dollar Store bead necklace was the third addition. The point is NEVER throw jewelry away because you can repurpose it in the future!!!
5. The fruit headpiece has a silk flower from a Dollar Store Hawaiian lei with a rhinestone. There is white fabric paint added for highlights. Also some of the fabric pencils mentioned above were also used to emphasis and shade the fruit for more dimension.
6. The face has a white fabric paint eye reflection, a subtle bit of nail polish on the brow bone and lips and a nose piercing.
As you can see she is not nude because I covered her up with large Hawaiian lei flowers to use this quilt in other quilt shows. Would you have covered her? Scroll down to the end of the post to see the real deal!
And here is the photo I submitted to "The Skin We Are In" Challenge. I had fun with this and realize art is controversial thus the cover up. Thoughts?