Strata....by Susan Lenz

The "Strata Series" was inspired by the cross-sectional profiles of the earth. The resulting series was worked on water-soluble fabric in free motion machine embroidery. The series was SHORT LIVED. Thus, this blog is a place to BURY blog posts....in the cross-sectional profiles. It functions as a support area for my "main" blog which is Art in Stitches by Susan Lenz.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Knight Riders, Decision Portrait Series

(Above:  Knight Riders, Decision Portrait Series.  Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin.  Hand embroidery and beading.  Click on image to enlarge.)

The Decision Portrait Series is about decisions....all sorts of decisions.  It is NOT about establishing value judgment.  Each piece is meant as a straight forward presentation of a decision made by the person(s) depicted.  I was going to stitch the words:  KKK Members but this is obvious.

Some of the pieces in this series subtly ask viewers, "What would I do it this situation?"  Others remind people about a family member or friend facing a difficult choice.  Many bring awareness to religious, moral, social, and health related topics; but, nonetheless, the focus is on the decision...someone's personal option.  "Right" and "wrong" aren't was is important.....this is just a look at a DECISION.  This portrait is no except. 

Knight Riders challenges viewers to THINK about their reactions.  It asks, "How would I respond if I knew someone in the KKK?"  Who knows?  Maybe you do.....and don't even know it.  In truth, there are all sorts of controversial organizations....pro-life, pro-choice, many animal rights groups, most political and religious affiliations, various environmental groups, etc.  Do you belong to one of these?  What do those on the "opposing side" think of you?  How would you like them to react to your membership decision?

 (Above:  Knight Riders, Decision Portrait Series. Detail.  Click on image to enlarge.)

These two men belong to the Ku Klux Klan and were part of a march in Georgia.  I read about it on the Internet.  The townspeople weren't particularly happy about it but they respected the group's right to have such a parade.  They had to THINK about their reactions to a decision they wouldn't have made themselves.  My portrait is meant to challenge viewers with the same question.....How would you react?

2 Comments:

  • At June 15, 2010 at 9:46 PM , Blogger lindacreates said...

    It is so amazing to me that the KKK is still active, even though I know it is. Your portrait definitely affirms that and my reaction is numbness. I find it difficult to process that because of color this is still active. I am not sure why I am numb as in our area we have the Aryian Nations becoming active again.

     
  • At June 16, 2010 at 8:33 AM , Blogger Susan said...

    Hi!
    Thanks for the comment here! It was actually the Aryan Nation that I was looking for when I posted Neo-Nazi on my Decision Portrait "wish list". They exist here too. In fact, about four or five years ago they paraded down our Main Street straight to the capitol building. Ordinarily, I'd NEVER attend such a thing but Alex was determined to go. I went with him to make sure he didn't do something totally stupid. It was hard to believe that men wearing swastika armbands were goosestepping down the middle of the street, woman and children were raising their arms while chanting "Sich Heil!", and the police were arresting the rowdy teenagers throwing cans who didn't have their mothers there to prevent them from getting into trouble. My eyes must have been the size of saucers. My heart was numb, not knowing how to feel. It was stunning, utterly shocking. It was their right to parade. They had a permit. I told myself over and over again, "America is a great country! Only here can this sort of thing happen. If I want my rights respected"....well.....you know the rest! Later, when stitching the Decision Portrait Pro Choice, I meet with the parents of the young man whose photo and life were used for Patriot. This was in my studio. The Pro Choice piece was on my table, needle threaded. I got a chance to explain the series to them. The father looked at the Pro Choice piece and said, "I would have tried to talk her out of it. My son would have tried too but he also died for her right to make this decision because in this country she has this right and it must be protected....no matter what". I stitched Knight Riders in the exact same place....right there at my studio table....and told myself, "It is their choice and their right. I live in a great country."

     

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