Americans United by Larkin Jean Van Horn
From the Vessels, Shrines, and Reliquaries Gallery
Size in inches: 8 x 20 x 3
Not for sale
For millennia, people have memorialized great events — whether nobly heroic or horrifically tragic — with art. After many hours of watching the news unfold, I sought the solace of my studio. I simply could not take in any more images and needed to deal with those that I had.
One thought kept returning: the terrorists chose two airlines whose very names spoke to our national identity — American and United. And Americans were, indeed, United: in grief, in outrage, in shock, and in resolve. It was in hearing the stories of the courage shown by the passengers and crews aboard the four planes that prepared me for the serendipity that occurred on the cutting table.
The background piece for this quilt was originally intended as a color study for another project. I had created the half-round column during the summer as part of a handmade-paper class. When one landed on top of the other as I sorted through the accumulation on the table, I knew they belonged together. Even more so, since embossed on the column were four figures — one for each of the planes.
The quilting is meant to represent the rubble and the layers of dust and debris. The beads were added to represent the names of the passengers and crews — much like the names carved in stone for other memorials — unreadable until you get up close. The column itself stands tall and proud in the midst of destruction. Here were people who knew what was happening to them, and showed amazing courage in the face of certain death.
May we all be blessed with similar courage, resolve, and pride as we face the future together — Americans United.
fused appliqué, machine stitching, hand beading, paper embossing and painting
hand-dyed cotton; hand made paper; glass seed & bugle beads