SAFETY IN COLORS Joe Cunningham
San Francisco, California
2010 Cotton fabrics and commercial bias tape, machine appliquéd and quilted.
72 x 72 inches
Joe Cunningham explains that this quilt was built on a piece of fabric from a Ghanaian textile training center where they teach wax printing and dyeing techniques, and that the lines were made with commercial bias tape sent to him by women from around the world. "Safety in Colors is part of a series of bias tape quilts in which I am trying to use the traditional techniques and materials for my own expressive ends," Joe explains. "the red fabric from Ghana made me think of war," he adds. "I have always been fascinated with the 'green line' or the 'green zone' and all those locutions that imply there is an area of safety in the war zone. Also, I wanted to make a black river. So I made this image of the Tigris with the green line going across it, to sort of defy anyone to to say which side is the safe side. Safety in Colors, then, is just about the idea of the green line, the threat level color, the magical thinking involved in these childlike concepts of a zone where you are safe from attack."