Hearts for Charleston — Gillan


Next up: Gillan Wang — a Newton, Mass. fiber artist who brings her talent and wit to a variety of styles. She took my year long class awhile back and has gone on to show in galleries and host several successful “Newton Open Studios”. Some of her work is functional, like fiber bowls, some is illustration-driven, while other pieces are more conceptual. Here is her website: ArtbyGillanIMG_2323

Each of the congregants is represented by beads spelling out their initials.  And, each set of initials is linked, by stitch, to a star. There’s “MT” for Myra Thompson and “SCS” for Sharonda Coleman Singleton.

IMG_2325Gillan chose commercial prints depicting celestial scenes, along with a deep blue silk, and some strips of indigo. Woven together, these strips create a night time sky. By stitching the initials of the deceased on these fabrics, she places them in heaven.

Only one small red heart speaks to the tragedy.

  She used a transparent star-patterned sheer for the primary heart. It is wonderful how we can see the underlying patterning! And there’s a stamped spiral on the right that seems to go to or from one of the background stars, continuing the theme of shooting stars. By surrounding the heart with bugle beads, Gillan added luster and definition.

All in all, I love the sparkly, star-studded surface. It speaks to expansion, healing, and a universe that is big enough to hold all our joy and pain. There is also a child-like quality to this piece that brings in a welcome sense of innocence. 
This square will catch the light in many varied ways and hopefully please the onlookers.

Thank you, Gillan!!

To read more about this project,
please refer to the the sidebar category:
“Hearts for Charleston Quilt”.

10 thoughts on “Hearts for Charleston — Gillan

  1. ravenandsparrow

    I love the metaphor of the transparent heart, and I love the way it works with the stars and the sky….as you say, Dee, “a universe big enough to hold all our joy and pain”. This steps back from the immediacy of tragedy and sees a bigger picture. Beautiful work, Gillan.

    1. deemallon

      I love that metaphor too and how here it is about seeing/being seen as human beings, and not about a trustworthy business or political transaction.

  2. Mo Crow

    this cloth conjures that lovely old nursery rhyme
    “Star light, star bright,
    First star I see tonight
    I wish I may, I wish I might
    Have the wish I wish tonight!”

  3. Liz

    I read this as my grandson’s nap monitor played the sound of surf breaking on an unknown shore. Water and sky, so soothingly evoked in this gentle blue cloth … how incredible to feel such a sense of peace brought out of such terrible loss. Thank you Gillan.

  4. RainSluice

    I look at this and I see the netted heart as The Heart which we can miraculously see through. Yes, seeing “a universe big enough to hold all our joy and pain”. Another beauty of a square!


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