We move forward from two successful exhibitions in 2016 in Prague and in the USA to the challenge of an exhibition in the Netherlands in the Autumn. We continue to work on A2 sized pieces in portrait format and will be producing four pieces over the year with the theme of 'Freedom'. An essential part of our art is working in series to a common format which does give us all a framework for our creative endeavours.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico: Marking the Middle of Time

Chaco Canyon is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon cut by the Chaco Wash. Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the canyon preserves one of the United States' most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas.

Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples.  Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century.  Many Chacoan buildings were aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction.  Climate change is thought to have led to the emigration of Chacoans and the eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a fifty-year drought commencing in 1130.  But, there is also a legend that the Chacoans who built and maintained the buildings at Chaco Canyon may have found a way to control certain natural forces, and when they fully realized the consequences of such control, they abandoned Chaco Canyon and the knowledge they had acquired, leaving the canyon and its buildings to the whims of those natural forces they had so long sought to command.  Remnants of that long abandoned power are palpable in the canyon to this day.  

I made this quilt using commercial fabrics and hand-felted pieces with beading and embellishments.  The "stones" in the old wall were cut and laid one by one--just as the ancient Chacoans must have laid the stones in their walls.  The five felted pieces are intended to represent the sun or the moon on its journey through the sky each day and night. 


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