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Mapping Nebraska is a drawn, stitched and digitally imaged cartography (physical, social, cultural, sociological) of that state. This nine-year project, now in the permanent collection of the International Quilt Museum, includes a hand-drawn Locator Map, quilted and embroidered Terrain Squares, on-the-ground documentation or Surveys, and Ground Cloths, mixed mixed media textile constructions which respond to a particular location in a more intuitive and imaginative way.
In this public talk at the International Quilt Museum I give a visual overview of my development of the fourth component of Mapping Nebraska—a large-scale textile construction, titled Prairie Skin, designed to wrap a human body and to function as map, memory, shelter and shroud.
I see the outer layer of the Prairie Skin, quilted in an eccentric log cabin pattern, as protection and celebration. I relate its grid and order to history and cultivation. I see the inner layer, with its hand-written text and organic meanders, as memory and commentary—information which warns but also consoles.
I view the Prairie Skin like the prairie and its the grasses: fragile and threatened but also tenacious and resilient