Monday 1 May 2017

Four in Art: Light - Light in the Darkness

As you may know, I belong to the quilt group Four in Art, and each quarter we reveal a quilt which we have made according to our annual theme (this year it's Light) and the current sub-theme.  The sub-theme for this quarter, which was chosen by Camilla, is "Light in the Darkness".

The thing that makes me most happy about belonging to this group, apart from the inspiration and encouragement from other members, is the sheer luxury and fun of thinking about the themes.  This theme was no different - there were so many ways to think about it.  

The first thing I thought about was light in the darkness of space - how we still receive it from stars which may be long dead, and how the colour of it carries information about their composition and temperature.

Light in the dark is a source of comfort and helps you to find your way - the 'light at the end of the tunnel', for example. It has an effect, both in practical terms or as a metaphor in a religious or spiritual context, on people who are imprisoned or lost.

The idea of light as something which adds clarity to our 'vision' is ingrained in our language when we talk about 'shedding light on a situation', so that we 'see the light', or 'see things in a different light'.   The opposition between dark and light is used for the difference between order and chaos, truth and falsehood, and between reason, or knowledge, and ignorance.

So there is a bit of all these things in this quilt. Seen from a distance the rays are just a comforting or guiding light in the dark, either in a physical or spiritual sense.  Closer up, they are pieced with a text print about astronomy and mathematics, so they could represent the light coming from the stars in our sky but also represent our attempts to shine a light on our experience using evidence-based thinking (which I don't believe is incompatible with religion).  Most of all I wanted it to be about the light of knowledge, truth and reason in the 'post-truth' era of 'alternative facts'.

You can find the other Four in Art members below, so please visit them to see how they have been inspired by this quarter's theme:


Light in the Darkness

22 x 22 inches
Black Oakshott cotton
Text print
Freemotion quilting in black thread
Hand quilting in two shades of perle cotton
Faced binding


  1. So terrific, Catherine! I was curious about the middle image, as it looks as if you cut out the rays and and that the light can filter through them: did you really do this, or is this just a happy accident? The backstory on the quilt, of rays of light via the quality of light, as well as enlightenment, is so fitting for our era of obscured truths. I will keep this image in my mind as I read the news of the larger world, working to apply evidence-based reasoning, fact, extant knowledge, and the promptings of truth to guide my way.

  2. Lovely quilt. How did you get the light to shine through the back? I also appreciate your many meanings behind this quilt, both the science and the spiritual. Wonderful!

  3. This is a beautiful quilt, Catherine. The light literally seems to shine from those radiating spokes and I love the way the text print adds the more symbolic dimension of knowledge, truth and reason. You've really encapsulated all aspects of light in darkness in this piece :)

  4. I always like reading about your theme quilts Catherine, you put so much thought into the composition and detail of your quilts. Inspiring as always :)

  5. Catherine, this is just ingenious, everything about it! There are so many ways to view this, visually, and each "look" brings out something new. And then there is your intellectual interpretation - quite deep and so relevant to our world today. Perfect!

  6. I love everything about this. Thank you for sharing it here, so we can all see it. xo

  7. I'm glad I checked out the blog post and not just the instagram photo. I loved the quilt when I saw it from afar but there is so much more detail to the quilt when seen up close, and the explaination is great as well.

  8. Like Lisa, I liked the instgrammed bits but love the blog post. It's always interesting to know what the inspiration is and to learn how you thought through the prompt. I love what you are saying with this piece (and so timely).

  9. Fantastic! Very effective tonality and I loved reading your explanation of the elements which inspired you. Stars are a great aspect of this theme which didn't even occur to me! Great to have the different sides (is it?). Totally agree about the evidence based thinking and the idea of wonder which is boggling- even thinking the light we see comes from stars which are now dead always amazes me. Nice to suggest the mathematical aspects of calculation and astronomy with the text print- all combines to a very effective whole!

  10. Catherine....I'm always excited to see what you create and write about. I love how you talked about what light in the darkness means and provides for us. Your thoughts are intricate thoughts that reflect the delicate design of your quilts and quilting. This is a wonderful quilt about light in darkness.

  11. One of the things I like about the Four in Art group is that there is substance to the direction of each of the quilters when creating their quilts. Your written discussion about light in the darkness allows me to understand the how and why of this wonderful piece you made. I cannot see the tiny text on the fabric and am so glad you told us about it as that gives the piece more depth of meaning.

    Is the 2nd photo showing the back of the quilt? It is so different from the front. I want to move in close to the quilt to really understand every bit of it. Great job.


I love hearing from you and always try to reply - please forgive me if I accidentally miss a comment. If you don't hear back do check you aren't a "No Reply Blogger", and look for a reply here in the Comments section.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...