“Duel” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Copyright 2017 – 32x26"
White cotton fabric; black, white and red threads; ink; wool batting.
Thread sketched, free-motion quilted, hand embroidered.
This is my entry for Studio Art Quilt Associates’ exhibition called “Guns: Loaded Conversations.” The juried exhibition examines America’s “heritage and current cultural norms” and encourages civil conversation about ways to reduce our gun violence.
The deadline is tomorrow, Oct. 31, so I am just getting in under the wire! I’d had this piece in mind for the exhibition for some time, but did not have time to work on it until I got back from teaching at the New Zealand National Quilt Symposium earlier in the month.
It is based on a sketch I made of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr and their dueling pistols, and is thread sketched (on the surface and through a layer of interfacing for stability) in black thread, then quilted and hand embroidered (the red blood and wound). There is also some hand stippling (dots) and cross-hatching (crossed lines) using a Micron Pigma Pen to add extra dimension and shading.
Artist’s Statement: The 1804 duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr took the life of one of our most brilliant founding fathers, and destroyed the career of a vice president and Revolutionary War hero. I remember learning about dueling in elementary school and being in total disbelief about the stupidity of it. Shooting someone in a bizarre social ritual over a disagreement or a slight to one’s honor? Even more shocking is that more than 200 years later, Americans are still shooting each other at record pace, but with far more lethal weapons, and that we seem unable to find any real solutions to the violence.