Caught My Wings In Her Quilt
…Brought My Wings In Her Quilt
L’Merchie Frazier Sowing stories of Resilience
Born in Jacksonville Florida, Boston based visual and performance artist L'Merchie Frazier also wears the hats of educator /consultant, and currently serves as the Director of Education at the Museum of Afro American History Boston/Nantucket. We could go on about her accolades and honors but that would be only scratching the surface of what drives this artist. L’Merchie is a living tome of stories and hidden histories. Her mind, a treasure trove of narratives and magicks, of loss and exaltations of the African diaspora and indigenous peoples. She takes the commonality of the human experience and peels its layers of pain and joy to expose our wounds so they can begin to heal. To paraphrase her bio; “Her work provocatively traverses the mediums of fiber,(sinew,strength) beads (sweat), metals (will), poetry (Emotions), performance (relationships), or work with community (faith), serving as threads of memory,”
Reclaimed from the icons that bring recognition, salvation, redemption.
“Through her visual artwork L’Merchie creates and has lauded support and praise for her evocative fiber and metal sculptures, innovative mixed media installations, hand-crafted beaded jewelry, and powerful quilt series, the “Quilted Chronicles.”L’Merchie has remained an active and pivotal member of the New England Community for over twenty years. Her work has been exhibited in the public and private collections of numerous institutions including, the University of Vermont, the American Museum of Art and Design, New York, and the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; it has also appeared in numerous publications— A History of Art in Africa, by Monica Visona, International Review of African American Art, Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama and Spirits of the Cloth,” (Carolyn Mazloomi)
Unlike most fine arts quilting is very tactile it makes the creator both sculptor and painter, all the senses come into play, it is unique, personal, sometimes whimsical. The quilt was used to keep those you loved protected, warm, and the knowledge of quilting was imparted to the enslaved in the Americas, not only to provide for the body, but also fill the soul or souls dying to express things other than pain and loss. It was a legacy passed on to the very fortunate. The enslaved were taught to make quilts for the Plantation families usually under the supervision of the plantation mistress. Soon many slave seamstresses became highly regarded for their artistry and although they brought increased profit for the enslavers it became a way to keep families together if you could pass that skill on to your child. Some enslaved used their quilting ability to gain their freedom.
Thus it is with L’Merchie Frazier, freeing our minds to different perspectives of the enslaved and the history that goes far beyond and before chattel slavery in the America’s. The fact is that Africans of the diaspora survived and continue to survive centuries of attempted genocide and that as Nietsche remarked so aptly ”... that which does not kill us makes us stronger” In L’Merchie’s own words Ms.Frazier presents “narrative quilts, interdisciplinary artwork, fiber constructions that resonate with the dialogues that inform my discipline and creative calling. These works are part of the arc that spans from the past to our collective present and presence.”.L Frazier
L’Merchie’s art is an extension of herself like the biblical hem of Christ’s garment, it was the belief that if one touched it you would be made whole and healed. The effort given to brave Roman swords was a show of pure faith. Her art imparts faith, it tells us we can still fly… reach the heights, our wings can grow back, and usually all we need is faith and belief in ourselves, and our journey, to begin healing.
Editor’s.Note: L’Merchie Frazier offers workshops that support healing, equity, and justice. Her Art-making and print-making workshops range from single sessions to long-term weekly and monthly gatherings...Her clients have included hospitals, residential recovery programs, community non-profits, and schools.
Her workshop participants immerse themselves in hands-on activities, generative creative writing and art-making and in meaningful interactions as they consider issues such as trauma, recovery, spatial justice, social justice, the restorative nature of art, and community building. For more information consulting services, including formats, availability and rates, please contact L’Merchie Frazier at firstname.lastname@example.org.