Classy, kind, generous, talented, and gracious are just a few of the many adjectives one could use to describe one of our beloved local quilters, Margaret Linderman. Although Margaret has been the subject of a past post, her recent surprise birthday party inspired me to share with you the magic of that special day and Frida Kahlo, the woman whose paintings inspire much of Margaret’s beautiful work.
If you are not familiar with Frida Kahlo, you can visit this website which contains a wealth of biographical information along with images of her work.
Margaret has many interests, among them being quiltmaking and wearable arts. Her work has been featured at both local quilt quild shows as well as the Pacific International Quilt Festival. In a recent interview, here’s what Margaret has to say about her interest in Frida Kahlo.
1.When did you first become interested in the work of Frida Kahlo?
In grade school (I was a student at the lab school at SDState) we studied murals. The school had a wonderful one in a hallway, so I became familiar with Diego Rivera, Mexico’s preeminent muralist. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in late 70s, I was invited to view a documentary about Frida Kahlo at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. I only knew that she was the wife of Diego Rivera. My eyes were opened and I was curious to find out more about her. I particularly loved her costumes, her passion for animals and native plants that were evident in many of her paintings. I had always loved folkloric colors, costumes, and fabrics. At that time I was primarily interested in Art-to-Wear and small fiber constructions. When Alexander Henry issued their first Frida Kahlo fabric, I knew a Frida vest and jacket were about to emerge using techniques I had just learned at Empty Spools Seminars, a fabric collage class taught by Rosemary Eichorn.
2. What is it about Frida’s work that inspires you?
I saw the fabulous exhibit at SFMoMa of Frida’s work. I also saw the photographic exhibit in San Jose. Frida’s use of bold colors, dark subjects, and native flora and fauna inspired me to incorporate them into my work.
3. How do you use her designs, colors, etc. in your own work?
After taking Alethea Ballard’s wonderful dream chair class, I knew I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by one of Frida’s paintings. The Frida and Diego Dream chair was that piece. I have continued to use images that were reminiscent of her work–but perhaps a little brighter. I am also a huge fan of the Day of the Dead or All Souls Day customs. Those images play well with Frida themes.
4.What types of projects have you made that reflect this inspiration?
Several quilts, vests, coats, and wall pieces dance with folkloric themes that are already completed.
I have a couple in the design process that incorporate floral tributes, skulls, and images of Frida.
In addition, I was lucky enough to have been gifted a lovely book about Frida Kahlo with commentary by Judy Chicago: turning pages brings me information and images. And now I have my very own Frida quilt made for me by my friends and organized by my daughter, Janis and friends.
Be sure to check back on Friday as we share a gallery of Margaret’s work.
Until then, Happy January everyone!