I dabble in genealogy and really find connection with a Mexican tradition called the “three deaths.” Our first death is when our bodies cease to function. The second death is when our body is lowered into the ground. And the 3rd death is when our name is spoken for the last time.
Last week I wrote about my curiosity regarding the longevity of my art quilts. In that post, I was basically contemplating the three deaths , not some unrealistic concern about becoming famous. As I do genealogy, I love discovering a relative who’s been dead a very long time. I sense that when I find them, that they’ve been resurrected.
For me after I’m forgotten, I hope every so often there’s a quilt or 2 hiding somewhere which resurrects itself (me). Realistically, textiles are a very fragile medium to work with. There are so many factors which can destroy them into piles of thread and dust. As I prepare for my solo exhibit later this year, I’m thinking about what this all means … to be making things.
I’m near completion of a piece I’ve been working on for awhile and it struck me that there are things getting buried during the construction. I’ve added a lot of thread painting to this piece. This week, when it was time to quilt it, I had to cover up the back-side of the stitching. It amazed me to see how my stitching created its own art piece.
It makes me think that maybe, this process of creating can also experience it’s own stages of life and three deaths. My thread painting was once an active part of the process, but that is over now and buried behind layers of fibers. When you see the finished piece, the thread work does not take center stage as is does on the back. It becomes blended into the layers of fabric, color and quilting. This secondary art piece I unintentionally created is likely never to be seen again. So, I thought maybe if I leave it’s picture here, it might live a little longer.