“Everything begins with the fabric.”

Shimmering, floating, expanding, receding—Shizuko Kuroha’s quilts resonate with an ethereal energy. Antique Japanese indigo-dyed textiles give her work depth, suggesting the expanse of sky and cosmos. Traditional sarasa fabrics—block prints in a lighter palette of beiges, grays, reds, and indigos—provide counterpoint, creating synergy between dark and light, figure and ground, tangible and intangible.

“In a quilt, it is not very important if the fabrics are old, worn or even dirty … What counts is the blend of these fabrics, how they co-exist, if they are in harmony.”

Kuroha has been a leader of the Japanese studio quilt movement for more than 30 years. She utilizes complex patterning that gives her work a distinct, yet familiar appearance. Her harmonious fabric placement creates optical illusions and atmospheric effects but it also elicits the sounds of gentle breezes, robust winds, summer nights, and open spaces. Her “blue echoes” speak to us with a universal voice.

“Blue Echoes” is the first ever solo exhibition by a Japanese artist at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.