Barbara Shapel, Contemporary Fiber Artist

Migration (front and back)

Artist Statement:
Growing up in Idaho, my family took full advantage of that great state and went camping and backpacking often. On one of these trips when I was about 10 years old, we went to Redfish Lake, which is in central Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountain Range. The lake gets its name from the sockeye salmon that migrate from the ocean to spawn there every year. I don’t remember anything else about that camping trip other than seeing the spawning salmon, blood red in color and so numerous I was sure I could walk across the stream on their backs and not get my feet wet. Today, they barely survive - researchers can count the number of returning salmon on one hand.

The front of this quilt represents the stream as it exists today. If one gets up close to the piece, you can see ghost images of the salmon that used to be there. You need to look at the back of the quilt to see the stream as I remember seeing it as a child.

This piece was donated and auctioned off during the 2003 St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Festival of Trees Gala Auction in Boise, Idaho.

This is the first in the Migration series and is dedicated to the memory of my father, Robert Hoyt Shapel, an avid outdoorsman, a gunsmith’s gunsmith, and a great daddy. You are dearly missed.

Cotton fabric, rayon & polyester thread
26”h x 52”w