Dark Clouds Arising
Size: 52" wide x 32" high
Materials: Artist dyed fabrics, fabric paint, cotton batting and backing, thread.
Techniques: Fabric dyeing and painting, hand guided machine quilting, embroidery.
In the late 1940s, two former enslaved African American women came to the Quaker Meeting in Tracy, California. They wanted to thank the Quakers for their involvement in the abolition movement against slavery by teaching them a coded Underground Railroad spiritual that they had learned when they were young slaves. My mother learned the song and codes from them, and I grew up singing it during Quaker worship services. The quilted words in the sky of this piece explain the story of the song, as well as its lyrics and codes.