“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ In the Beginning

In the Beginning

by Lisa Thorpe
In the Beginning

Artist’s Statement

Origin story: I had found a hand stitched unfinished quilt top on a free table not long ago and a friend had given me a crochet tablecloth that her grandmother made that had seen better days. Both items felt like they needed to be in an art quilt, and that there was an undiscovered story to unearth. I began to think of the stories of our past and all the hands over time that have woven and stitched those stories together to create this present moment. I imagined a creation story of my own making; it is an origin story about the beginning and possibly the end of time with Ravens weaving and stitching the earth together. This is a discovered story uncovered and revealed in the objects used to compose the art piece. This is just one of the Undiscovered stories floating around us in the object we touch and used they hold stories of their own unknow to us until we take time to listen and translate. That’s what I tried to do in this piece.

I used a piece of the beautiful vintage quilt top as the grounding pattern and strips of it are woven to provide a nest for the earth form which has a trapunto treatment to give dimensionality. I cut a slice of the timeworn croquet and hand dyed it using indigo dye to use as the sky. In between these two vintage pieces are the Ravens and the earth on a background of indigo cotton fabric. The Ravens and the earth are digitally generated images that I printed on cotton fabric and then enhanced with acrylic paint. To give movement and energy the earth and moon are ringed in metallic thread and free motion quilting is used to provide texture and definition on the raven and earth shapes. I hope my quilt in both provocative and pleasing, a gift from the past and a cautionary tale of the future.

I am an art quilter and storyteller. I strive to invite and intrigue viewers to look closely at my work then look again, I endeavor to evoke wonder, curiosity and enquiry. I have an affinity with nature and my art quilts are imbued with the magic of the natural world, its closeness and mystery and undiscovered stories.

Lisa Thorpe

About Lisa Thorpe

Lisa Thorpe, as an artist, is an explorer and observer first. She likes to wander and wonder, let things percolate while she ponders. She has numerous sketchbooks full of chicken scratch drawings and cryptic thoughts. Over time (and often during a long hot shower) an idea will keep rising to the surface, and she might even push that thought bubble below the surface, telling it “I don’t have time for you,” but the best ideas won’t pop and so she moves on from thought to action. She has used many mediums over the years from fabric to painting to printing and collage but the unifying thread through all these mediums is a love of the puzzle. She likes to problem solve, to piece and play with an idea until it can take shape as a visual idea.

She loves words and word play so words are often woven in the work and the work is woven in words. Throughout, no matter the medium, she plays with the verbal and the visual. In that vein she has and artist journey blog. The blog pushes her to try new things, to play and produce and articulate both visually and in prose her ideas and inspirations. It has been a significant experiment, rewarding and daunting all at once. To create something and then share it with world almost immediately is both thrilling and terrifying. But what is art for if not to share, if not to pique and poke? So that is her goal, her quest, her passion, to share art, to have conversations, to both reflect on and reflect back the wonders of the world she navigates.

She has been fortunate to be published in both technique magazines such as Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors and in art journals such as Cold Mountain Review. Find her at https://lisathorpe.com.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.