A timeless optical illusion, woven with the stories of the past emerging in their renewed state. - Dolan Geiman
The tumbling block pattern is a popular design that can be seen throughout history. It emerged in early Greek and Roman mosaics (likely before), Renaissance architecture, and in Baroque, Victorian, and modern art. It was introduced as an American quilting pattern in the 1850’s, and that storied tradition provides personal inspiration.
Quilting began as a salvaging activity, utilizing and repurposing precious materials to extend and renew in a decorative manner. This convergence of practicality, ornament, and storytelling is foundational to Dolan's work and philosophy as well.
The transition from the precise geometries of the mosaics to the craft of quilting changed the context and allowed for stories and messages to be embedded in its layers with the prized imperfections of the hand of the maker. The resulting work is a timeless optical illusion, woven with the stories of the past emerging in their renewed state.
These pieces - Tumbling Block and Mama Made - are just some of Dolan's works featuring this style of pattern making. Dolan loves drawing on techniques of the past, reinterpreting in paper and bringing them to life in these tactile works.
Story of Tumbling Block, Dolan Geiman 2022