Creative Design: Graduate

Art is the Flower, Life is the Green Leaf

  • Erin French (Iowa State University)


This quilted triptych acquaints viewers with the devastating 2018 blaze at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA). I studied, lived, and worked in the Glasgow area for five years, and this work represents my struggle to comprehend the loss of the GSA while imagining an idyllic future. The design integrates aesthetic properties of the Glasgow Style, such as vertical lines, repeating squares, organic forms, and the Glasgow rose, which represents the GSA itself in each panel. By transforming the background colors and the color of the roses, each panel depicts the passage of time following the fire, including the immediate aftermath, the transition from debris removal to fundraising, and finally a rebuilt school. Quilts are constructed by layering and connecting multiple parts, analogous to the way in which buildings are constructed, and therefore this medium, in combination with needlework, was chosen to advocate for rebuilding.

Keywords: Scotland, Quilt, Mackintosh

How to Cite:

French, E., (2019) “Art is the Flower, Life is the Green Leaf”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2019