Memphis based art quilter Paula Kovarik's work requires close observation. Upon first glance, what looks to be one subject matter, is quite often another altogether. A degree in graphic design and owning her own firm helped to pay the bills. But when her mother prompted her to take a quilting class fifteen years ago, the light bulb went off. Armed with needle, thread and an understanding of balance, color and composition, she creates art that is an extension of thoughts traveling through her mind. "Stitching is an extension of my thoughts through my hands. It is a slow art, textural and multi-layered."
The initial sketch for the Stream of Consequences piece started with the idea of inter-connectedness and how the city wove itself around a meandering river. This piece was created to honor the work that the Wolf River Conservancy is doing in the Memphis area to protect the watershed and our water supply.
It comes from the country, courses through the suburbs, and wraps around the city of Memphis. The Wolf River, a small spring fed river of 90 miles, is one of the great arterial systems of the Mississippi River and all the life that it nurtures. As it flows, it filters, it floods, it captures and distributes. It is a filament that takes everything that flows downhill and sends it forward. It is the meandering collector of last resort for runoff, sprawl, industry and agriculture. Efforts to control it, channel it, or deny its value nearly led to its ruin—until it gained an advocate.
Since 1985, The Wolf River Conservancy has protected and defended the river in the face of development and abuse. The group has cast the Wolf as a community treasure that physically weaves the region together. They know full well its vital function and spectacular potential. They understand it is a pattern that connects. (Paula Kovarik)
Paula Kovarik talks to The Quilt Show about her quilt "Punditocracy" at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis, TN.