Primary Source Description 2

Introduction

The AIDS Quilt, apart of the Names Project Foundation, features over 48,000 panels of quilts to memorialize those lost to AIDS.

The specific panel examined in this description is in block 5873 at the top left of the block. It starts under one horizontal panel, but remains on the left edge of the block. It is a vertical panel that is about 6 feet by 3 feet, according to AIDS Quilt staff, Roddy Williams.

 

At first glance, this panel seems to have memorials for numerous people, contrary to the general norm of one panel per person. The only uniform aspect in the entire panel is the 2 inches black borders around each section. The panel is divided into 4 unequal sections, 2 squares at the top, a square section in center, and a rectangular horizontal section at the bottom. The overarching theme is not apparent in color or ideas shown on the panel, however, this panel is very much all for one person, Laurenda Rose Doucet.

The Guitar

Starting at the top left square of the panel lies a dark brown acoustic guitar over a suede, deep green base.  The suede backing of this section creates slight alterations in color, showing where the suede has last been brushed or touched and places that the suede remains untouched. The guitar is a simple 2D graphic sewn into the base and is slanted across the square towards the right, with the body of the guitar towards the bottom left of the square. The guitar gives the impression of a handmade detail due to its slight uneven neck. At the base of the guitar is the start of its strings. The strings start on top of a black patch that looks similar to an upside down bell-shaped distribution. Here, golden strings, attached by clear circular buttons, are strung up the guitar graphic, with one string having one clear button and going up the neck of the guitar to create chords. Each of these six strings, which are actually a group of 4-6 thin strings grouped together for thickness, runs up the guitar and connects to the tuning pegs like a guitar does in reality, except these are golden strings leading into sequined tuning pegs. These sequins are artificial, clear pyramidal studs with a flat bottom 

sewn on the outside of the headstock with white thread. The entire guitar is outlined in black thread, with significantly darker and 10 thicker black threads going horizontally along the neck of the guitar, to separate the frets. On the top left of this section is a quote stitched in round yellow letters that reads:

“We go round and round

and round in the

circle game.”

After some research, these lyrics are by Joni Mitchell in The Circle Game.  Assumably, this was Laurenda’s favorite song. If that is the case, this gives us details to the type of music she listened to and the time period she was alive in. In the same yellow stitched thread on the bottom right of this section is a cursive “Love always and forever!” Following underneath is the same round stitching that was in the top left, “Your daughter,” and back to the cursive stitching “Laurenda Rose”.

The Apple Orchard

Moving to the top right of the panel, the second square that’s bordered by a 1 inch thick black panel all around is a twine base with hand drawn trees, all ranging from 4.5 to 8.5 inches in height and about 1 to 2 inches in bases. The lines seem to be made from fabric markers, allowing some of the twine to show through the mostly filled-in brown bases of the drawn trees. The crowns of the trees are left open, but they are created with curvaceous green lines to give the trees a full and healthy appearance. Randomly scattered in the green tree bushes are small red circles, likely representing apples. A few of those same red circles, also drawn in fabric marker, rest on the roots of the brown trees. There are three apple trees in the top left of this section that progress diagonally to the center of the square,  two in the top right that seem to be attracted to the center as well, and a row of 8 apple trees at the bottom. Collectively, these trees all create an open space in the twine square. Where there is open space, a message written in round black stitching reads:

“Lori

We will meet you

in the Apple Orchard

You Love so much

WE Love You!

Dad + Mom II

1995”

 

The Lotus

Underneath these two squares is the longer and main section of the panel. This square is about 3 feet each side, and has the common thick 2 inch black border on the top and bottom of this square. This section contains differing color borders until it gets to the bright colored centerpiece.

The first border is about 4 or 5 inches thick and is made of a blue cotton fabric with navy blue, ink-like flower details consisting of leaves and flowers. Inside of the first border is a magenta cotton border, also about 4 or 5 inches thick, with small dark dots scattered all throughout this pattern. The dots look similar to baby’s breath flowers, which are depicted, and are all about a quarter of an inch each. The border inside that is about 2 inches thick all around and made of a bright red cotton. The border inside of the red is also about 2 inches and is a bright yellow. Both of these borders are completely plain and made of cotton fabric. The centerpiece inside of all of these borders is a reflective auburn vinyl square, containing many more details than the borders. At the bottom right, in a cursive stitching, reads “Love, Mama 1996”.

The main piece looks like a silhouette of a person in the common meditation pose, the lotus position, also depicted, colored in night blues and opaque whites scattered give the impression of clouds and stars located on the head, heart, left arm, and across the lower body. It can be assumed this graphic was sewn to show the importance of meditation in Laurenda’s life. Perhaps she was a buddhist, or just strongly believed in spirituality and enlightenment.  

This is sewn in black thread on top of a yellow triangle, the same yellow as the yellow border, following the shape of the meditative silhouette, also sewn in black thread. Underneath the yellow triangle is a red triangle, matching the red border, in an altered position to create a 6 point star. This star is important in Hinduism and Buddhism and is associated with chakras often. 

This is also sewn with black thread, onto a dark purple circle underlying the center graphic described. Surrounding the circle, to give this piece the appearance of a flower, are ‘petals’ of another fabric. The fabric contains bright yellow and variant shades of purple flowers, sewn in with black thread.

The Background

Finally, the rectangular section that takes up the bottom and remaining part of the panel is very simple and provides the information of the person being memorialized. It is surrounded by the thick 4 inch border on the top and approximately a 2 inch border along the other 3 sides. Within that is a 2.5 inch dark blue cotton fabric with hollow white stars, varying in sizes of 1 to 3 centimeters, scattered along the fabric. Inside the dark blue border is a large piece of the aforementioned auburn vinyl fabric as the base of the information. In large yellow cursive letters is sewn professionally “Laurenda ‘Lori’ Rose Doucet” about 2 inches in size. On the next line, in smaller sizing but the same font is, “January 20, 1958- March 31, 1996” and on the last line in the same yellow font is, “Conway, NH”.

 

Final Thoughts

It becomes apparent that every detail in this one panel was intentional and specific: the sizes, colors, graphics, etc. The panel, like the other 48,000, are meant to memorialize those that have passed due to AIDS, but these panels also give identity to the innumerable people that were taken from this disease. Laurenda “Lori” Rose Doucet, pictured, was a

mother and daughter. According to her daughter, who shares the same name as her mother, Lori enjoyed traveling, motorcycle rides, Tai Chi, quilting, playing guitar, and other activities. This panel was meant to give life to the woman who lived her life to the fullest and capture a segment of the multi-dimensional personality that Laurenda Doucet had. Roddy Williams 

supplied me with these pictures to give a face to the woman that was loved dearly by her children and parents. At first glance, this panel is just another quilt piece memorializing someone that has passed, but with inspection and more information, you can almost feel the love that was shared for Laurenda and the identity that she had.
Continue reading Primary Source Description 2

Primary Source Description 1 Reflection

After the in-class peer review, I realized that I was lacking on a lot textural details and describing the way that each piece of the panel was attached. The purpose of the description is to give such a detailed, objective description that a reader may be able to visualize the panel without ever seeing it.

After September 19th’s class, I learned that I could make small inferences, within obvious reason. For instance, there’s a red ribbon on a small patch of the panel. Given the context, I could have inferred that this red ribbon symbolized AIDS awareness, much like I did enough research to realize that GODIVA is a chocolate.

Of course, when making inferences, it’s important to remember, in a source description, that you cannot just guess the meaning or significance of a very abstract detail. After clarification in class, and examples from Fitzgerald’s Mohegan basket description, I now understand that some hypotheses can be drawn if there is sufficient evidence, but especially so if we make sure we state that it’s just a supposed conclusion based on the writer’s knowledge and research.

Since the peer review, I have visited the AIDS Quilt on Luckie Street again and took numerous pictures to get a greater scope of the creation, including materials, forms of application, possible significance, and date of creation. My final revision before turn in consists of adding new details in all of these aspects.

I feel that adding all of these details will enhance, not only the sheer description, but the greater meaning behind this seemingly stoic details. I think this will pull together the entire description and be a great way to lead into the source analysis.

I also remembered the metadata that we needed to consider when doing this project, and how I failed to include this in my original source description, so, I added a few very simple tags to my post. However, I forgot to do it until original submission, so hopefully the website I submitted for grading is still valid (if not, then this is another learning experience I can reflect on).

Primary Source Description 1

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.

Question on Source Descriptions

“The remaining two (2) images can include additional photos/facsimiles of your source depicting relevant detail, or images of other objects or documents (such as advertisements, undamaged specimens, reconstructions, etc.) associated with your primary source.”

 

Does this mean that the other two required images can include an up close photo/facsimile of my primary source, such as if there was a section on my already chosen panel that I wanted to pay particular attention to?