I turn to quilting for respite from all the terrible happenings that surround us, so this topic, A Headline from a Newspaper, was a stressful one for me.
I wanted to create a portrait as a reminder that all of the tragedies happen to real people; people who have to live through the events that are so terrible they cause panic and depression even to others who are thousands of miles away and safe. The headlines take over our heads; we cannot get away from them.
The batik fabrics in the background, with their contrast and motion, suggest the constant surge of noise and hazard we are subjected to. Even if we turn it off, we know it is there.
Her face is fragmented and she "can't keep it together"; pieces are blowing through the atmosphere around her. Her once starry eyes have turned into that deer-in-the-headlights look as she tries to cope with every new barrage.
The halo of orange around her head, and the spiky orange stitching, show how these headlines keep us at a level of high alarm.
As I worked on this, I thought about how many hours my fellow teachers and I spent trying to instill a sense of teamwork and unity in our students, who came from all over the world, and how satisfying it felt to see a good group discussion, or a proud presentation. And then in contrast, I thought about how now my friends' conversation turns so often to fears of others taking away what they think they are entitled to, and I wondered how much of that comes from headline overload.
Also as I worked on it, when I was auditioning fabrics, and chose those with nature motifs, I immediately felt a little better. I would like to make a companion piece, with the headlines I wish I saw every day, like, "TxDOT Plants Native Flowers Along Highways," or "Congress Works Together as Well as Fifth Graders Do," or "Art Classes Added to Curriculum."