Kathryn Clark has something to say and she has chosen to use fibre art as her medium in this body of work, her ‘Foreclosure Series’.
From 1999 to 2004, Kathryn Clark worked for a private urban planning firm designing New Urbanist neighborhoods throughout the United States. In 2007, as housing foreclosures started to occur with more frequency, she began to question her design work. She wondered if she was adding to this in some way?
It was important for her to present the whole story of people losing their homes in a way that would capture people’s attention and make a memorable statement. Making quilts seemed an ironic solution to her. Quilts act as a functional memory, an historical record of difficult times. It is during times of hardship that people have traditionally made quilts, often resorting to scraps of cloth when so poor they could not afford to waste a single thread of fabric.
The patterns for the Kathryn’s quilts are based on neighborhood maps. The quilt is pieced together using patterns of neighborhood blocks taken from RealtyTrac maps. Within these, foreclosed lots are shown as holes in the quilts. The lot locations are completely random and they yield an unexpected beauty when laid out on fabric. These torn holes question the protective nature of a quilt.
I think her quilts are beautiful, and all the more amazing for the message they provide. See what you think.
If you’d like to learn more about Kathryn Clark, or about her Foreclosure series, check out her website here.