Exhibition: November 6 - January 26, 2020
Artist Reception: Saturday, November 16, 2pm - 5pm
Call for Entry chronicles Margaret Fabrizio's multiple attempts to create art with the specific intention of entering it into juried art shows. Many were made, twelve were rejected. All of these quilts are done in the Kawandi style, which was brought to India by African slaves. They are made entirely by hand. Each of the 12 quilts is a one of a kind piece reflecting Fabrizio's indomitable spirit and verve.
Margaret Fabrizio has a deep and exceptional history of creating art. First known as a pianist, then as a harpsichordist, Margaret Fabrizio began her study of piano 6 weeks before her third birthday, appearing in her first recital at the age of four. As a harpsichordist she has performed throughout the world and was on the faculty at Stanford University for 25 years as Sr. Lecturer, specializing in harpsichord, fortepiano, and thorough-bass.
Since 1980, she has been increasingly active in the visual arts. Her art books, collages, paintings, photographs, masks and quilts have been exhibited in the US and abroad. She has created and participated in performance art pieces and for the past 18 years she has been creating a forest environment of sculpture and landscape at her Cazadero Conservancy of Nature and Art, a remote 40-acre piece of land in Sonoma County where works of art are installed and/or created in a non-invasive manner.
Continue reading below to find out more about the impetuous and inspiration behind her visits to India and her affinity with the method of quilt making that she learned there.
After going with Joe Cunningham to see a quilt exhibit at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco in the summer of 2011, I felt compelled to try to find the women who had created the quilts (kawandi), for they were so completely different in assembly from any quilts I had ever seen. Careful examination still did not reveal the way in which they had been made.
I learned that these people, the Siddi, were of African descent, and had been brought to India as slaves by the Portuguese 400 years ago.
They still live in relative isolation from the Indian community, castes, and tribals. After much searching I finally found a settlement in the state of Karnataka and spent 2 weeks with the Siddi, on their porches in the forest, taking notes, making videos, and learning the technique.
I returned to San Francisco and created 20 pieces during the following year. Then I returned to the Siddi in 2012, taking scrap fabrics for their use and four of my pieces for their examination.
This style of quilting is done completely by hand, using scraps and recycled clothes. The fabrics I use are largely from India, where I haunt the tailor shops for ‘waste material’, and recycle clothes.
The Siddi women were astonished and appreciative at my return a year later. Their feedback brought me to another level. I have been in four national exhibitions, and won the Best Hand Workmanship award at the quilt show in Pennsylvania. and have been featured in solo exhibits at Visions Art Museum and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.
- Margaret Fabrizio
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