Observing the entire block of this quilt, it seems there is a common dark color scheme throughout the panels. My focus will be set on the center panel that reads “Brian Cozart Joshua”.
The panel is 6 feet by 3 feet, according to Roddy Williams, staff over the AIDS Quilt. It is divided into two halves, split horizontally through the panel. The top half is a dark blue, somewhere between oxford blue and denim blue. The bottom half is eggplant colored, and is where the more visual details are placed. Both of these halves seem to be of a silky material, reflecting light from certain directions and able to be graced across softly.
Visually, we are drawn first to what we can read. Our focus also goes to what is the greatest sized text on this panel. In individual small patches forms the name “Brian Cozart” in a magenta colored velvet, vastly contrasting the other colors on this panel. The patches are visible and tangible, put together one-by-one by the method of sewing. The white thread used to sew these pieces of the name together is vivid compared to the magenta velvet. One interesting detail to note, the ‘t’ is made as a small capitalized letter, but still fits the height of the corresponding lowercase letters for the name. Additionally, the ‘i’ in Brian has a patch over the stem of the ‘i’ that is slanting to the left. Right below the big “Brian Cozart” reads “Joshua” in purple patches of the same velvety material made used to make the above name. It is significantly smaller than the first line of names, but is still on the upper panel and big enough to be seen from distance. It can be assumed that Joshua was Brian Cozart’s nickname, but this was confirmed by AIDS Quilt staff Roddy Williams.
On the far right of the upper half are 4 detailed sunflowers in full color facing in slightly different directions towards the viewer. The sunflowers, like the name, is sewn into the silk base of the panel. The sewing, however, is done with white thread in a technique that doesn’t show to the naked eye, indicating that the creator was either talented at sewing, or found someone to perfect this colorful piece. The vibrant yellow rays surround the earthy browns and greens of the inner flower for each sunflower. There is some intentional separation between a few yellow rays, as a natural sunflower would have, that are depicted in this firm cotton decal. The sprouting stems and petals are a deep green with lighter green highlights depicted on the panel. The overall shape of the stems is a waving motion going vertically, with one sunflower that is above all others.
Going under the top right, down to the bottom right, continues the sunflowers and shows the bright green pot where the flowers sprouted from. The pot, made possibly from a firm cotton fabric, has rigid increments of width that get smaller as it goes to the bottom, where the base is flat and trapezoidal, having the lengthier side on the bottom. The pot, like the sunflowers, are sewn in with white thread, however, the green fabric contrasts more with this than the sunflowers, but only if the viewer is proximal to the flower pot. The pot and sunflowers are raised, placed above the silky background. Combined with the sunflowers, this is not only the brightest part of the panel, but of the block of the quilt.
To the left of the sunflower pot is a rectangular patch, in a brighter magenta than the above “Joshua”, bordering a decal that reads “GODIVA” in all capital letters. The logo is in gold, very similar to the one attached below. This logo is a assumably a woman of wealth with long hair on a decorated horse whose front leg is up, however, the logo is made entirely of outlines. According to history.com, the logo is Lady Godiva, a English woman from circa 11th century, with long hair who rode her horse naked through the market square (http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-was-lady-godiva). GODIVA today is a chocolate company, selling liqueur and chocolate, but the patch, also sewn into the silky base, does not indicate which of these it is representing. Considering the context of the AIDS Quilt and the usual purpose for a panel, Brian Cozart possibly enjoyed GODIVA, whether it was chocolate or liqueur.
“Lady Godiva” History.com, www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-was-lady-godiva.
To the left of the Godiva logo, at the bottom center of the panel, underneath Joshua, is a small, printed quote in black Times New Roman font, with each word starting with a capitalized letter. It is a horizontal rectangular box sewn into the silk base with white background made of soft cotton and has a faded red, thin border. The letters cannot be felt because they’re printed, but the border that attaches the print is slightly raised compared to the quilt panel’s base. In the open space of this box, there is a red crossed ribbon, about 2 inches in length, sewn with red thread, into the white cotton base of this box. The red ribbon is very likely an awareness ribbon for AIDS and HIV, to represent support for those that are living with it and have been affected by it. There is a very small pin beside the end of the first sentence, on the third line, which is a yellow-golden angel. The quote reads,
“We Do Not Choose Whom We Love,
Whether It’s Man or A Woman,
Or Even If We Love At All.
Our Only Choice Is To Reject It
And Be Miserable Or Accept It
And Enjoy It As Much As We Can”
and has line breaks as depicted. The size of this rectangular quote is about the size of two letters from “Brian”.
To the left of the bordered quote is the original Mickey Mouse icon, with his right leg kicked out and his heel up. Mickey Mouse is black and white with a dark red tongue, seen through his smile, bright red shorts with two big yellow buttons, and khaki colored shoes. He is looking to the right side of the panel and is outlined thinly with white. Though it is difficult to determine without great examination, this is the only individual piece on Brian’s panel that is NOT sewn into anything. This Mickey Mouse decal has been attached to the silk base with high-quality fabric adhesive.
Slightly to the bottom left of the Mickey Mouse decal is approximately a 2×4 rectangular patch of the United States flag in full color. Overlapping that is an aged “U.S. ARMY” patch, written in dark, bold print on top of an army green strip of durable, thick cotton, about an inch long and several inches wide. The U.S. ARMY patch spans over the entirety of the slanted downward United States flag and is sewn onto the flag and the eggplant colored base.
To the left of Mickey Mouse and the U.S. flag is a folded, lilac button up created by Polo Ralph Lauren. Before sewing the collared shirt into the base, the creator of this panel cut the shirt to include only the front of the shirt, and cut the bottom off, to form a pointed end at the bottom of the remaining shirt. The collar of the button up is folded over the multicolored, abstractly designed tie that depicts hues of currant red, light blue, gray, and tuscan sun yellow. The tie seems to consist of women’s faces with currant raisins around their heads and other abstract details of the aforementioned colors. The tie, rough due to its raised texture, is centered and sewn with thin white thread completely over the buttons and down the midline of the shirt. The Ralph Lauren horse is in dark green, a typical component of this brand’s clothing.
“Jonkheer Van Tets.” Jonkheer Van Tets Currant Plant, www.noursefarms.com/product/jonkheer-van-tets/.
At the very bottom left corner is a small, circular patch in white, overlaying a harder cotton fabric as its circular base. Following the curve of the circle, at the bottom of the sewn patch it reads “LIVE AND LET LIVE”. This phrase is generally said as a proverb, to tell others to be accepting so that people are accepting of them. Surrounding the centerpiece is a very thin, circular line separating the phrase from the colored piece. There are three blue triangles, touching only at 2 corners, that form an inner pink triangle. The overall shape of these 4 apparent triangles takes on the shape of a larger triangle.
Overall, the panel has a lot of darker colors, mostly shades of purple and dark pinks, with the exception of the large white quote and the colorful sunflowers and their vase that takes up about a sixth of the panel alone. The base of the panel feels very smooth and is risen by all of these applied borders, names, and patches. The panel appears to have a lot of separate pieces, but mostly follow a soft texture and dark color theme, attempting to capture the aspects of Brian Cozart’s legacy.