In the fall of 2007, three artists met at Union Theological Seminary. Although they were strangers, they were immediately drawn to each other on the first day of orientation. This project is the story of their friendship – and the output of a collaboration of their work in which the dance of the Spirit has been made manifest through art.
The digital artist, Lobi Redhawk, made a piece entitled LOVE AND THE POWER OF WITNESS as a gift for the fiber artist, Posey Krakowsky. Inspired by Lobi’s art, Posey proposed a joint project that would utilize the work of all three artists. charlee huffman, the poet, was willing to be involved. Initially, there was to be one quilt which linked:
- Lobi’s digital work printed onto fabric
- charlee’s poetry
- Posey’s fiber art.
But charlee wrote three poems – offering them as a bounty from which Posey could choose. The die was cast, and the project grew exponentially. Three artists, three poems, three quilts: each one using all three elements. The result is a trinity of quilts that powerfully imagines each unique person in the group, and yet maintain a unity of intention that binds them unmistakably into a cohesive whole. The work is a dance — a perichoresis of the lives of three individuals forever entwined in relationship: “distinct but not separate.” Through an intentional act of seeing by the fiber artist – each of the three artists has been holy/wholly represented in her singularity. And yet the three quilts are also deeply inter-related, indivisible, and form a whole — just as the myriad distinct pieces of any and every quilt come together to form a whole cloth unit.
The process of “seeing” — of appreciation — of purposeful attention without the attempt to incorporate — constitutes a radical act of love. This thesis proposes that such acts of intentional seeing are a form of extraordinarily powerful dialogue with “the other” — a way in to relationship that purposefully suspends judgment and even verbal definition in order to resist appropriation. This love reveals the other to the seer, and transforms her in the process. In return, those who are seen are also transformed, for by being truly seen, they are valued as individuals. It is the aim of this project to show that such transformation does not compromise the non-negotiable specificity of the unique individual selves involved, but instead makes a way for each to honor and appreciate the irreducible singularity of the others.