City Center Gallery 2018: Ohio Through the Lens of a Quilt Block by Chris Mercerhill

Saturday, August 11, 2018 to Saturday, September 15, 2018
City Center Gallery at Urban Arts Space

Reception: Saturday, September 8 | 5-7 PM
Admission is free and open to the public


Ohio Through the Lens of a Quilt Block is a collection of Chris Mercerhill’s stunning photoquilts created by using the Ohio Star quilt block. Since 2006, Mercerhill has been working on a series of photoquilts using the Ohio Star pattern, which alternates squares and triangles. In these pieces the original image is recognizable but the edge of every piece meets its reflection, creating a kaleidoscopic effect that blurs the boundaries between the pieces. Each row is composed of pieces from slightly different parts of the print, which results in an evolution from the top to the bottom. These large-scale photoquilts—all of which are six feet tall and four feet wide and all of which feature Ohio-based subjects—are visually dazzling works of art that capture a memory of a place, such as the Park of Roses of the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Artist’s Statement
I have been making photoquilts (photographs sewn into quilt patterns) since 1996. Traditional fabric quilts represent a way of encapsulating memories. But instead of capturing the memory of a person by including a piece of a garment, I capture the memory of a place by taking a photograph. Sometimes, I take that photograph and make dozens of prints for each quilt. Other times, I take dozens of different photos. I cut each print into pieces to sew together into a human-scale quilt, often incorporating traditional quilt patterns.

Since moving to Ohio in 2006, I have been working on a series of photoquilts using the Ohio Star pattern. Ohio Star: Columbus Museum of Art is my latest in the series. In this quilt, the original image of the museum is recognizable but the edge of every piece meets its reflection, creating a kaleidoscopic effect that blurs the boundaries between the pieces. Each row is composed of pieces from slightly different parts of the print, which results in an evolution from the top to the bottom.

In addition to examining physical space, my work also examines digital space. In Self Portrait: Facebook, I have created a self portrait out of my Facebook friends’ profile images. The portrait reflects the way that I am composed of my social network. Similarly, Handmade Chinese Coins uses photos that I hired online workers to take of their hands. These images are juxtaposed with strips cut from additional copies of the same prints which are sewn into the stacks of “coins” that give the quilt pattern Chinese Coins its name. Although I paid these workers a living wage ($20 per hour in Columbus, Ohio) this is not typical for online work.

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31