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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
Glass beads form a ribbon of tangible memories in Mother's Memory project by artist Debbie Quick. 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.

 

 

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