Let’s begin with Good News. A friend just opened an Etsy Shop called Egyptian Quilts. He features the appliqué work of the Tentmakers of Cairo. He’s offering a sale for his Grand Opening so pay him a visit at :
I’d like to thank all who have sent concerned emails for the recent news.
The event : The appearance of a Youtube video about a movie slanderous to the Prophet Mohamed caused massive protests throughout the Arab world. Consequently, Tunisia drew attention in the international news after the extreme right organized protests that ended in an attack on the US Embassy.
Protesters climbed the Embassy walls, burned cars in the parking lot and ransacked the accessible recreation area (commissary, tennis courts, swimming pool). Then they went to the American school across the street, which they looted and burned parts of (including the library). Pictures surfacing on Facebook show looters walking off with computers, TVs, and even garden hoses.
You may wonder about police presence. Well, they appeared, but were overwhelmed and ran out of tear gas. Later in the evening, two police stations were attacked and torched in different cities.
The results : Tunisians, understandably upset, are questioning the inept management of the whole mess by the government, which is run by a religious party. Furthermore, they wonder at the government’s lenient policies toward extreme right groups whose members have frequently broken the law in violent public confrontations only to be acquitted in court.
The US government has withdrawn non-essential personnel from the Embassy and they discourage all visits to Tunisia. Great. We're still trying to figure out the meaning of all this.
Feeling frustration, I turned to the piece I'm working on for Jude Hill's Spirit Diaries. Yes, I broke down and took another online class, however, this one is not project oriented, but a discussion on technique and process with an active forum. I thought that this could be my anesthesia, a way to listen to something else besides conversations and rumors of impending doom. However, it is apparently not meant to be.
Jude chose 'Wings' as her "filter" or theme for the next few months, which I happily adopted to my project, a worn, double-sided bed quilt that I'm using as a canvas. I chose the purple side to experiment upon and to leave the green side for later.
And so, I began appliquéing abstracted wings of two triangles (or a bowtie) onto one corner block. A basic structure that I modified with reverse appliqué.
I could have happily continued exploring ideas connected to wings, however, I find that I'm now being pulled toward Icarus. You probably know his story. Daedalus, his father and a brilliant craftsman, warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun or to the sea when they made their escape from the island of Crete using wings made of wax and feathers. Being young and exuberant, Icarus of course went as high as possible, only to find that the feathers fell off as the wax melted from the sun's heat, and he plunged to his death in the sea.
The story of Icarus thus contains a warning, yet it is not about extending oneself or trying to reach greater heights. It speaks of extremes that we should avoid because they are harmful to us. The warning reminds us to keep our balance and to remember the virtues of moderation.
Thus, in these troubled times of extremism, I find the story of Icarus compelling. Moderation and Balance.
To go from disorder and confusion
to some kind of order and understanding.