DIE GOLDENE MEDINA - HER DREAMS
“Beds, three tiers high, were still not sufficient to accommodate the 5,000 immigrants who arrived daily. Many, like this young woman, were forced to sleep on benches, chairs, or on the floor.” – Lewis W. Hine
When traveling, have you ever felt bone-weary…so tired you feared the next step? Have you ever been stranded in an airport, with nothing but what seemed like unending hours until the next flight? I have. And if you are like me, I am sure all you could think of was getting somewhere, anywhere, to sleep. To lessen the discomfort of my situation, I like to visualize of my cozy bed at home, covered with a warm, colorful quilt.
My inspiration for this collage was a photograph from the Hine Collection. As an educator, Lewis W. Hine encouraged his students to use photography as a tool for social change. He often held his sociology classes at Ellis Island. In five years, 1904 to 1909, he produced 200 photographs of the immigrants passing through the Island. The young woman trying her best to get some sleep is one I thought fit perfectly with the new Artistcellar Quilt Stencils.
The new series features four quilt designs: The Bear Claw, The Star Flower, and the two I chose to use, The Ohio Star and the Amish Star. Living close to Lancaster, PA it’s nice to see the Amish star included in the series.
Going back to my Strathmore Journal, I sponged on layers of acrylic paint, letting each dry between applications. Having the stencils in both the 6” x 6” and Pocket size is really useful. In my work, I used both. Again, the quality of the stencils didn’t let me down. Even though the paint was dry between multiple layers, clean up was a snap, with each stencil back to immaculate condition. I built the background quilt layer by tiling the image as on a true cloth covering.
Completing the collage, I drew upon my collection of ephemera. I surrounded the Slavic lady with what I imagine surrounded her: mountains of paperwork as she made her way through the Ellis Island process.
And was she like you and me, tired and sleepy, dreaming of a familiar place to rest? Did her dreams include quilts and thoughts of home?
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