Joanne Y. Heiligman

Artist’s Statement

Biblical Quilts

Purim Masquerade!
Depicting the Book of Esther and the holiday of Purim

My passion for textile art started in a fabric shop when several fabric bolts caught my eye and I decided to make a quilt of creation. The topic was much greater than could be depicted in a single quilt, and the project expanded over many years to include several related pieces.

In the process I created a unique style of fabric collage using piecing, appliqué and embroidery to bring to life Jewish traditions as well as Biblical texts. 

I use cotton fabrics almost exclusively, in vibrant and intense colors.  Generally, I work with commercially available fabric, but I also dye, paint, modify, or create my own as needed. Although much of my work is sewn by machine, there is also hand piecing, appliqué and embellishment. The internet and fabric printing have opened a world of possibilities for including astronomical images in my work.

 I blend the traditional with the contemporary and the scientific in my art. I don’t want to leave my intellect at the door when I engage my spiritual side, nor do I want to abandon the spiritual in the face of science. I hope that my work will encourage people to see the world in a new light, to fire the imagination about how life, art, spirit, and intellect can illumine each other.

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