Formstorming: Miranda Hansen

The Gee’s Bend Quilts are a notable example of many concepts of graphic design, in both their visual/physical form as well as in their symbolism and the preservation of values important to their creators. The quilts are a craft passed down through the community for generations, and while each quiltmaker has a unique style (such as the one individuals uneven stitching) when viewed as a whole the exhibit has discernible roots and consistency. The community teaching method helps contribute to the formstorming since the techniques are passed down but the visual solutions are unique based upon the individuals vision and reflective of their own memories.


A Gee’s Bend Quilt by Loretta Pettway.

The quilts exemplify the organic geometric reflection of the women’s surroundings. For example, the barn doors worn away panelling, or the architecture of the inside of their houses.

Quilt 1 Nellie Pettway

Quilt by Nellie Pettway.

For example, the “Bricklayer” quilts reflect what one might have seen staring up into a wood roof, and the perspective creates a sense of distance, as if you are looking into the quilt. The quilts also have abstract meaning in addition to emulating a physical picture. For example the way one of Loretta Pettway’s quilts was made from her husbands clothing so she could remember him.

Another preventing theme one can discover when examining the quilts is their balanced but not necessarily symmetrical layout. The blocky elements, fabric type and color are also indicative resources they had to work with. Despite some of the quilts dating back as far as the 1930’s, I thought it reminded me somewhat of a new age animation/music video theme in regards to the feel of the quilts. Specifically it made me think of the music video for the song Mykonos by Fleet Foxes.

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