Today we're talking to Cookie Washington, an African American quilting muralist and fourth generation needle worker, who addresses issues of race and social equality while celebrating the contributions of her African ancestral heritage and the Divine Feminine in her work.
Cookie is the first in a long line of needle workers to take up art quilting, yet she feels her connection very deeply to her foremothers and her African-American history whenever a needle and bit of cloth is in her hands. Her passion for quilting is a way of communicating the African American woman’s experience.
In our conversation, Cookie tells several fascinating stories around her recent projects. You’ll hear about mermaids and goddesses, and how she was divinely inspired to do a series of eight quilts depicting The Black Madonna as a way of bringing the healing energy of the Sacred Feminine into the world. She also shares the heartbreaking story of her friendship with Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney, a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston who was murdered by a white supremacist terrorist in 2015, just days before they were to meet to plan an art exhibit in his church.
Cookie also shares with us some ancestral wisdom that is communicated through the bees, and the upcoming Return of the Bees Multimedia Project, which is an exhibit that celebrates the history, evolution, and futurism of southern Black agrarian material culture, including the fiber arts and heritage quilt making. The show will be in Charleston, South Carolina at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, opening January 17th and running through Black History Month.
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
- The Return of the Bees Multimedia Project
- Acres of Ancestry
Original Music by John Kingsley @jkingsley1026