I recently saw a call for entries for a quilt show entitled Forced to Flee. Artists were encouraged to submit entries based on crises which force people to flee their homes for safety and survival. A few years ago I created a piece about Zaatari, a refugee camp in Jordan for Syrians escaping war in their homeland.

Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan

It was inspired by a series of aerial photographs taken over a period of 9 months, when the camp grew from zero (July 2012) to a population of about 145,000 (May 2013). It has since stabilized to 80,000 refugees, and has evolved into a semi-permanent home for these people, with a powerful solar power plant, shops, schools and more. Despite problems in the camp, Zaatari is a powerful testament to the resilience and entrepreneurship of the people living there.
When I thought about entering this piece, I felt it was incomplete, and needed a focal point. I decided to add two figures approaching the camp as refugees. Getting the size right was a problem! It felt a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears- I chose the middle one after trying them out on the quilt.

I am pretty happy with the result, and have submitted my application online. Fingers crossed!

Here is a detail from the quilt:

Techniques used: pieced, painted, raw edge applique