An extraordinary Refugee quilt and textile display will be on display at the Four Rivers Cultural Center beginning Saturday June 29 in conjunction with the annual Tradition Keepers event. This Is My Home Now: Narrative Textiles From Idaho Newcomers will be on display until July 24.
This Is My Home Now: Narrative Textiles from Idaho Newcomers
as formed by people
—from I Was Formed By… by Indira Regmi and Punya Misra
This collection focuses on quilted and stitched artworks that depict a narrative or story element in their design. The pieces embody the collective voice of some of Idaho’s newest residents as they translate stories of journeys and lives in transition onto textiles. These examples of living traditions demonstrate how the visual impact of place affects values related to worldview, occupation, community, and opportunity.
The story of Idaho is one of movement. Gold-seekers stayed only as long as their money held out. Snowbirds summer in Coeur d’Alene before they head south for the winter. Ranchers push cattle from valley pasture to plain. The Lewis and Clark Expedition lost and found themselves among the waterways and mountain passes. The Nez Perce pursued the buffalo. Idaho is a place of migration, transition, resettlement, and establishment. Within this movement is a population in constant change, adaptation, and evolution. The state’s demographics look very different than it did in 1890 and different even than it did in 1990, only 25 years ago.
The artists have arrived in the urban landscape of Boise from places as far away as Bhutan, Congo, Afghanistan, and Somalia, among others. The narratives contained within the pieces, however, have implications beyond the scope of the physical borders. They are narratives of loss and hope, family and community, struggle and perseverance, all underscored by a deep connection to the natural world. And what they brought from far away are not unlike the quilting, weaving, and other textile traditions long established and celebrated in Idaho.
These artworks reflect variations on the themes of place, space, and historic and future legacies. They document lives engaged in a process of resettlement and establishment, the same process that has defined the population of Idaho for well over 150 years. The political and social conflicts that caused the resettlement also coincide with the historic movement of people in search of something better, more permanent, more like home. The textiles represented in this collection offer depth and breadth to the long-standing tradition of Idahoans expressing their journeys to and from home through art.