My heritage is actually quite mixed (we even have Welsh on my mom's side) and quite complicated in terms of relationships. One grandparent the direct product of a slave and the slave owner. Although different native tribes are part of heritage on both maternal and paternal sides, we do not mention these family members much. In fact, the idea of pain, as time has progressed, has also become synonymous with silence. I realize, as I worked through this project with you, and a swath of anonymous (to me) people, that a fair amount of my family's history and pain, lies in all of the stories that we did not share.
As best as I could, expressed in this design is that truth. Pieces of textiles from Native American and African American cultures, surrounding the ever-present envelope theme when this project began, serve as petals. Much like a petal that falls off of a flower, each one can be quite beautiful on its own, representing part of but not the whole flower. This is where I sit with my family history: Incomplete truth--some light, some dark--the flower of our history reduces to petals.
- Jeneen Metz
quilt made with cotton, wool, wallpaper scraps and mounted onto panel board | 14" x 14" | 2020