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2008 Journal - Ancient Earth


2008 Journal - Ancient Earth


For 2008, the Journal quilt exhibit changed:  as in 2007, the size of the finished quilts would be 17 by 22 inches, not the page-sized 8 1/2 by 11 of the first years; it would be a juried exhibit, and it had a theme:  the elements:  earth, air, fire and water.

With too much going on in my life to focus on art, I was at a loss for what to use as my theme until attending my younger son's fourth grade Poetry Reading in May.  His poem, Ancient Earth, immediately brought the imagery to mind.  His poem reads:

Ancient Earth by Eli Smith (c) 2008

Tracks in the mud carry ancient history
Throughout the water of grizzly man
The tracks hold the hidden secrets of the ancient world
Treasures from beyond the beyond
The riches that time has forgotten
Ancient worlds lost in time forever

The images of the cave-painters of Lascaux, France, popped in to my head, and I thought I had seen somewhere fossilized footprints of ancient man.  Google to the rescue!  I adapted the imagery I found into the painted cave paintings and the footprints (found in Australia).  The center of the quilt is therefore Eli's poem and the ancient earth imagery.  Narrow bias strips of appliqued batik frame the quilt. 

The border is quilted with images to represent all four elements.  A bird and the sun are across the top for the air and sky.  Tall conifers reach to the sky for the living earth, and amphorae (jugs used in the pre-Christian Mediterranean  region) pour water.  The lower corners have a pomegranate for the living fertile earth and a fossilized nautilus for the ancient earth, while the flames of the molten core of the planet are along the bottom.

Materials: artist-dyed and painted wholecloth, commercial batiks, textile paint, thread, batting.
Size: 17 by 22 inches
In the collection of the artist.