Patricia A. Montgomery & Helen Anderson
Helen was challenged by many new things such as color usage; composition; and new techniques. To encourage creative change, she was assigned to read “A Communion of the Spirits – African-American Quilters, Preserver and Their Stories” by Roland L. Freeman. This book introduced African American quilters who used fabrics that told stories about their family, history and culture. At first, it was overwhelming and Helen had a hard time letting go of old techniques in order to learn about new materials and tools; using a lot more color in her work and just being open to change. Over time, she begins to use the new techniques and tools for her story quilts.
The Ah Moment came when she was able to share a selection of Batik and West African fabrics for her new quilt. The West African Adinkra symbols were selected in order to enhance her story about meditation and worshipped. When she described the Adinkra symbols known as Nyame Dua; Gye Nyame and Nyame Nti and how they symbolize the spirituality in her new quilt with a lot of passion. Wow! It was so exciting and reminded me of my favorite t-shirt which says “If you get out of the way the art will make itself.”
We have come a long way and Helen’s creative voice is starting to soar!