CALLIGRAPHY QUILT COLLAGE
The title "Calligraphy Quilt Collage" describes the materials, the method, and the source of inspiration for Eleanor Winters' artwork. A commercial calligrapher and lettering artist for 35 years, Eleanor started her personal "quilt project" in the early 1990s. By cutting up pieces of her own hand-painted calligraphy and combining them with variously colored and textured papers -- including marbled, metallic, Japanese and other Asian papers, as well as paste papers -- she recreates and redesigns traditional patchwork quilt patterns, in many cases the same patterns that have been used for centuries to make bedding and wall-coverings.
Although the patterns may be traditional, the materials are not. Made entirely of paper, these quilts contain dozens and sometimes hundreds of meticulously cut pieces, often no bigger than 1/8", pasted into position using bookbinding materials and techniques. The construction process is precise and labor intensive, and the resulting miniature quilts are intensely colored and often sparkle with silver and gold lights. Apart from traditional log cabin and star quilts, Eleanor has worked in a number of thematic groupings, including triptychs, miniatures, multiple block quilts, and assymetrical patterns. An ongoing project is a "Stained Glass Window" series, based on the windows of French Gothic Cathedrals. These works were exhibited in New York and the Netherlands.
The calligraphic element in the quilt collages ranges from total abstraction, i.e., letters that have been reduced to their component strokes or curves, to legible quilts, with clearly visible calligraphic letters. Eleanor has recently gone back to her calligraphic roots, creating a new series in which hand-painted alphabets, Gothic, Italic, Copperplate and Uncial, are woven into traditional and non-traditional quilt patterns. Although the quilts communicate with the viewer largely through color, shape and pattern, the alphabetic element adds an additional level of meaning to many of these works of art.
Eleanor's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe.