Thursday, 7 August 2014

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys I & II

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys I & II; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
In February I was in Cincinnati, Ohio for a conference and I had a free afternoon. One of the conference organizers is a docent at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and he offered to give me and a small group a private guided tour. I love African American quilts and researched them in my student days, so I was pleased to see Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson's monumental textile Journeys I & II
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
To say that I was pleased is an understatement: I was blown away by the detail, colour and time commitment. Robinson (b. 1940) has been making this textile since 1968. That's 46 years.
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Robinson is now 74. Will she continue making this textile until the end of her days? 
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
The expressive stitching speaks to me.
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
I especially appreciate her colourful appliquéd text and the chunky stitching that attaches it to the textile.
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Paint, fabric, buttons, cowrie shells, graphite, and thread reside together to make this monumental textile. Does some of the fabric come from previously worn clothing? 
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys Text; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Journeys detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson textile 1968 to present at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Photos taken with permission.

4 comments:

maya matthew said...

What an amazing story and an equally fascinating piece of work.

Judy Martin said...

Thanks Karen, for this post.

Life Scraps and Patches said...

I was so amazed by the quilts we saw that I went back another day, just to look at quilts this time. They are still in my head.
Connie

Karen said...

Hi Connie. The quilts were amazing and they haven't left me either! I could have spent more time with them and I'm glad that you took a second look. In the coming days I'll write more about them. Thanks for stopping by here. =)