Cottons, velcro, and fabric paint, mounted with glue on a folding wooden ladder frame with fabric hinges.
Hand and machine appliqué, hand and machine quilted, some figures hand painted, computer printed text.
72 x 66 inches (H X W). Each of the three panels is 20 inches wide.
Justine made this complex, multi-layered work of sadness, awareness, and hope in 1995, while she was writing a college thesis on domestic violence and the quilt as metaphor. A quilted fabric Mobius strip stands at the center of the quilt as a metaphor for the social “fabric” of domestic violence. Dancing women, representing those who have escaped the continuous cycle of violence, dance in the black and blue universe outside the strip. Eight neat appearing house facades touching the strip hide the violence that takes place inside them; their window are black and their doors are closed.. However, each of the houses opens on a velcro hinge to reveal words and pictorial scenarios taken from stories told by abused women whom Justine interviewed. These include: “I was stalked from town to town,” ”They just thought it was our business, and they didn't want to get involved,” “I got all packed to leave and I realized I had nowhere to go,” and “he kicked the bathroom door .. the mirror shards were everywhere... my hand was bleeding.” A statement by The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is also hidden within one of the houses. Three narrative interviews are printed on fabric windows on the back of the quilt, and ghostly images of women are quilted over the printing on the window panes, representing all that is left of their sense of themselves.
The Domestic Violence Quilt/Screen is pictured and discussed in Robert haw's 1997 book, The Art Quilt.
For more information or to purchase, contact Robert Shaw.
Front detail, house open to reveal Mobius strip.