SAQA Layered Voices – Part 1

When I signed up to go to the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in Lincoln, NE, I was hoping that maybe I would get to see my own artwork there.  The SAQA exhibition, Layered Voices, was scheduled to be at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum during the conference.

I did submit pieces for the exhibition, but they were not juried in. After seeing the exhibition, I could see how my pieces didn’t really fit in with the rest of the work selected. Most of the pieces had lots of texture, were more “busy” and there were not a lot of bright colors.

I enjoyed looking at the wide range of work and will share photos here. Since I have lots of pictures, I will post half of them today and the rest in another post.

The first is a piece by Diane Firth from Australia. It contains layers of netting and stitching. I like the simplicity of the piece with the subtle contrasts between light and dark, as well at the transparent nature of the work.


Cross Currents #4 by Diane Firth


Denise Linet’s artwork, Letters to Myself 2, is very intriguing. It is hard to decipher the layers of transparent and opaque fabrics by looking at the photo. Even viewing it in person left me with some questions of how the materials were used. The description of media on the label included “cotton and silk organza, digital transfers, polyester sheer, machine pieced, fused, raw edge appliqué, laminated, screen printed, hand and machine stitched.”


Letters to Myself – Page 2 by Denise Linet


Here is a detail.


Detail of Letters to Myself – Page 2 by Denise Linet


Happy Today? by Leah Higgins from the UK breaks the traditional rectangle format for artwork. More reminiscent of a scroll, the long skinny piece pools on the floor. As the artist writes in her statement, “The piece billows and pleats on the floor – hiding parts, hiding emotions.”

The artist’s intentional change in value from light at the top while getting darker toward the bottom perhaps represents a mood swing as one delves deeper into emotions.


Happy Thoughts? by Leah Higgins


If you look closely, you can see words printed on the fabrics – layers of thoughts, disorderly and broken.


Detail of Happy Thoughts? by Leah Higgins


Below is the diptych entitled, Entanglements, by Barbara Watler, which is one of my favorites of the exhibition. Again, the simple color scheme of black, gray and white, really sets off the hand stitching on this amazing work. Yes, it is all hand stitched!

The artist states, “The complexity of intertwined trunks and branches creates a network of intersections which outline repeating shapes. They change and evolve in ways that are new, yet ancient.”


Entanglements by Barbara Watler


Here is a (blurry) close-up of the stitching. I like how the stitch lengths vary and are not uniform, occasionally even skipping a space to leave an opening, contributing to the feel of natural forms.


Detail of hand stitching on Entanglements by Barbara Watler

All these pieces were created with neutral colors.  I promise there will be some color in the pieces I share in the next post.


6 comments to SAQA Layered Voices – Part 1

  • Well I can see why my pieces didn’t get in either. Thanks for sharing these.

    • Lisa Flowers Ross

      Linda, I know that sometimes art is not chosen because it doesn’t fit in with the vision of the juror or plays well with other art that has been chosen. But this time, I could really see it, in person, for myself.

  • Carol Kimble

    Thank you, Lisa. I loved this exhibit so much. Just wish there had been more time. If I had known, I would have stayed another day just to spend way more time at the Center.

    • Lisa Flowers Ross

      I am sorry we didn’t have more time to chat. There was just so much going on.

  • Barb McKeon

    Wow! That hand stitched piece is insane! Thanks for sharing the pics and especially for posting details!

    • Lisa Flowers Ross

      I know! The piece is amazing. Maybe the exhibition will travel to somewhere near you.