Danger Colonization

Staus: textile used in other art activism actions

Other methods: narrative, connotative materials

The textile was created around the war in Gaza. It exists as a (unsucessful) internet art activism but was created to be used in pop up activism actions and or a permanent installation. This peice was given to someone in the hopes that it might be displayed publically in Isreal.


Thoughts on Design

I created two textiles around the war in Gaza and used caution signs and the poison skull and bones as symbolism. I also choose to use the word colonization as I view it as the root cause in the conflict. This danger sign was picked, both because it conveyed the message and because it allowed me to use fabrics with meaning to further the message. I wanted to work with dutch wax print and Indian cloth because both have a surface level tie to colonialism, but both also have very interesting deeper histories regarding colonization, slave trade and industrialization. To create my image, I found a danger sign and a skull and cross bones from the internet and put them together. I also used the word colonization, which in this application is an overly long word, but there is no sufficient replacement for it. The first image I made, on the left, looks great on paper, but does not account for the ability of textiles. The next two used the possibility of working with a sheer material in order to create the poison skull and bones. This would allow for the word colonization to be a more appropriate size compared to the word danger. I chose the smaller skull because the removal appliqué process, the stitching and the print fabric was likely to be more distracting than the word colonization that was sewn on top of the blank background. In real life, the skull and bones and the word colonization are more distinct then they appear in the photo.


I used a printed version of my template to sew directly onto. The removal of the oval around the word danger proved challenging and was perhaps more effective as a design element in the printed version than the textile. I finished the piece by adding a wide border with a shiny black-purple material from my studio stash. The border made the piece a bit larger and gave it a quilt or blanket quality. A regular thin border would have been more like a patch or a frame and less of a blanket quality. I considered quilting the piece, but decided it would not add to the work and might be distracting to my imagery. I also choose to use a machine rather than work by hand as it would take a few days rather than a few weeks to create--some people are super speedy hand embroiderers, but I am not one of them.