Inspired by protest songs from the 1960s and current political debates, fiber artist Penny Mateer brings new meaning to familiar patterns and color motifs. Penny Mateer: Protest Series showcases the artist’s use of vintage textiles and traditional patterning throughout her recent body of work. The ten featured works demonstrate a broad range of techniques and forms, each referencing evocative notions of home, America, and our individual political identities.
Protest Series is the first time Mateer’s protest-inspired art will be displayed as a cohesive body of work. The title of each piece references the title of 1960s political anthem that influenced the artist, including “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, “For What’s It’s Worth” performed by Buffalo Springfield, and “Piggies” by the Beatles.
“I am endlessly inspired by music and it is my love of music that moved me to begin the Protest Series. I’m questioning how history repeats itself or needs to be revisited. Protest music inspires people to think and to question assumptions,” says Mateer. “It’s the exploration of contemporary issues using patchwork toys with the idea that a quilt connotes all that is comfortable while simultaneously raising questions about domesticity. The challenge is to find graphic, commercial fabric and then use it in unexpected ways.”
Mateer incorporates vintage fabrics and traditional quilting patterns into her work, further bringing the politically charged essence of the 60s to the contemporary viewer.