Carolyn Drake: Internat

Article about the artist and photographer Carolyn Drake whose project Internat engaged her with a group of young girls who had been isolated in a Ukriane orphanage.


Susan Stockwell

Stockwells work is concerned primarily with transformation and with issues of geo-politics, mapping, trade, ecology and history. I am particularly interested in the repeteive perhaps ritualistic approach to making, in the quote below she refers to quilting as something that ‘transcends generations’. This certainly feels fairly unique in the arts, perhaps less so in crafts but it is something to consider further.

“I’ve stitched and crafted almost 1000 Chinese money notes into a patterned, quilted map of the world. Like most of my work, the piece refers to trade, ecology, the present economic crisis and the shifting global economy.

For me personally it’s a beautiful, hand-made quilt stemming from a tradition of women recycling old clothes, passing on keepsakes and sharing in a familial process that transcends generations. Ironically, the ritual processes involved in making a quilt seem to counter the crassness of money and consumerism. Money by its very nature is recycled; it’s covered with the residue of many hands, pockets and purses – what I call the Stains of Existence.” Stockwell, Independent, 2010.

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A Chinese Dream V&A Museum, London, 2010

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Detail: A Chinese Dream

Sail Away, 2013. Tate Modern



Brigitte Kopp

Brigitte makes quilts, collages, sculptures in order that she make comments and tell stories about people and the world – often as critiques of political and social choices.

Earth stories: Copper / Erdgeschichten: Kupfer
2016, textilcollage, h 162 x w 159 cm
1st prize The Gala of the Unexpected at the National Quilt Museum

Stratifications  / Schichtungen
2014, textilcollage, h 120 x w 210 cm

The Clock is Ticking / Die Uhr Tickt,
2016, textilcollage, h 181 x  w 108 cm

Soft Overcome / Sanfte Gewalt 2015, textile collage,204 x 196 x 4 cm


Underground Railroad Quilts: Myth & Codes?

The Underground Railroad was a series of safe houses that were run for African-American slaves. Quilts would be hung out on fences to indicate the house was safe to approach and act as a map / set of instructions for passersby. Quilting elements would indicate information i.e. a bow tie patchwork indicates one should travel in disguise.

It appears that the focus of knowledge on this subject comes from one families source, while not untrue, a number of academics are not sure of the validity of this.  Myth and Legend or Truth?

Given that majority of history is written by white males and these quilts are done by females and often those of colour – again adds to the is it or isnt it idea.

Alleged codes of the Underground Railroad Quilts.

Image and info from:

Further discussion from:,8599,1606271,00.html

Amazwi Abesifazne

Voices of Women – stitched cloth telling the stories of (often) poor black women from rural townships in South Africa.

There illustrations through stitch are supported with text.

Agnes Mosalo

On 16 December 1991, I was working at the plug firm for two years. We were working for whites and we were faithful to them but they were not to us. When they had to pay us they ran away with our money. We, the employees, were so hurt. We went to our respective homes. We stayed for about a month and three weeks with nothing to eat. After that we received letters from the authorities saying that we would have to meet with the people we used to work for to talk about our money. When we arrived there, there was no one. We never got anything until today.

Nokuzola Ngidi

It was 1986 in the years of Apartheid when we were living the bird’s life in Odendaalsrus, At that time people who did not have a passport (permission to be in a certain area) were arrested. My mother was sleeping over at the house.
The police and Boers used to arrive and wanted our parents. They said that we were “kaffirs” children.

What I won’t forget is when they took my father. He was going to work. They took him away and we did not know where he was or where they would take him. My mother did not report this at the place where he was working, Saaiplaas, as she was scared of being arrested. After a month we heard that there were a man that was found in Kroonstad and that he was at the hospital. He had an employee card with the name Zibonele Filane and the name of the place where he was working. That man was my father. He was injured. His waist and leg were broken. He died.

I do not want what happened to my parents to happen to my children.