VCU Libraries is online and in person: VCU Libraries COVID-19 response

The Health Sciences Library and Cabell Library are open. Find out what to expect when you visit

Mother’s Memory Project part of Aug. 23 WISDM Mothers’ Room opening

August 14, 2017
Glass beads to be formed into a ribbon of tangible memories
Debbie Quick

Debbie Quick’s art practice is, first and foremost, beyond craft or medium, is as a storyteller. She shares stories not through written or spoken words but in a physical construction. “The verbal telling of situations is not how my mind works,” she explains in her artist’s statement. “Instead, I physically construct my stories that speak of emotional interactions and reactions experienced during intense social exchanges. Just as social interactions are layered, having a number of interpretations, visual information leads to a multitude of possible understandings as well. Having more than one interpretation of an experience is why I desire to pack multilayered thoughts into the objects I make.”

Quick is a Faculty Research Fellow in the Arts Research Institute at VCU's School of the Arts. Her current project captures a complex subject, one of many common and heartfelt entanglements, the memory of or reflection upon mothering or the maternal. It can be a birth story or the story of a moment between a mother and child or a person and a maternal figure.

Spanning many cultures and time periods, textiles has long history of embedding language to communicate narratives. To gather inspiration for her artwork--in this case glass seed beads --she invites people to share a story about a maternal figure or relative in their life, select a color sequence tied to that memory. Quick then weaves that memory into a ribbon of glass seed beads using the Ndebele beading stitch. “I want to translate these memories into a tangible object that can be drawn out of the unseen, revealing overlapping stories of nurturing. With needle and glass seed bead serving as grains of sand, I will weave, measure and examine the ephemeral quality of memory and our shared experiences. “

Quick, who teaches in VCU School of the Arts, will be set up to meet with small groups of interested women attending the August 23 opening of the new Mothers’ Room, a lactation room in James Branch Cabell Library, 4:30 to 7 p.m. on the fourth floor. People will be invited to share thoughts, memories, stories verbally or by writing them down on a card to be left with the artist.  

More about her Story Corps-stye sharing project Mother’s Memory.



< Previous | Next >