Generations is a collaborative project between Anna Lucia and the Quilters of Gee’s Bend where they combine traditional textile techniques with modern digital algorithms to pay homage to the historic group. Lucia’s iconic procedural textile systems provide a unique symbiosis with the female quilters, both parties being masters in patterns and palettes.
Gee’s Bend is a historic region of Alabama where the birth of African American styled quilts emerged. Early in the 19th century, descendants of the region’s enslaved families began quilting to help provide their loved ones with warm materials for the cold winters. Throughout the years, these woven patterns and styles would be passed down through generations and held close as family traditions. Today, their quilts and patterns can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Art Houston, and many others.
Generations is a collaboration between generative artist Anna Lucia and the quilters of Gee's Bend. Anna Lucia developed an algorithm to craft a series of digital quilts inspired by the iconic patchworks of the Quilters of Gee's Bend.
In the 19th century, enslaved plantation workers of Gee's Bend, Alabama, crafted one of the most important living legacies in American art history. Isolated from outside influences by an Alabama River cul-de-sac, the community incubated a staggeringly unique found fabric quilting tradition echoing African textile patterns. These stunning abstract designs would become widely regarded as modern art masterpieces, defiantly voicing a rich intergenerational narrative. Gee's Bend quilts have been collected extensively by prominent museums, inspiring high-profile homage from official First Lady portraiture to acclaimed runway shows.
Four quilters, Louisiana Bendolph, Loretta Petway Bennett, Essie Bendoplhe Pettway, and the estate of Lucy Pettway-namely her daughter and fellow quilter Mary Margaret- shared their process with Anna Lucia. Who, in turn, created an algorithm to generate digital quilts that share key elements with the source yet are unique and surprising in their own way. The quilters collaborated on curating the 500 unique digital quilts that make up the Generations collection.