Textile Curator | Luke Haynes, quilts, quilter, sewing, textile artist
Luke Haynes, quilts, quilter, sewing, textile artist. Featuring exclusive interview and news about his forthcoming 'The Log Cabins of Donald Judd' exhibition.
Luke Haynes, quilts, quilter, sewing, textile artist
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square me quilt smaller

[On my Bed #5] Primary 

90 inches x 90 inches


double elvis smaller copy

Double Elvis (2012)

71 inches x 60 inches


[Clothes Portrait #1] Cupcake 60 36

Cupcake (2012)

60 inches x 36 inches


[American Nostalgia#3] Abe copy-2

Abraham Lincoln (2009)

45 inches x 75 inches


American Gothic

American Gothic (2010)

90 inches x 90 inches


[The American Context #16] copy

Christina’s World (2012) 

90 inches x 110 inches


[On my bed #3] 2010 copy

[On my bed #3]  (2010) 

90 inches x 90 inches


[Iconography #7] Rags to R copy

Rags to Riches (2011)

90 inches x 90 inches


[Man Stuff #1] Hammer copy

Hammer (2008) 

72 inches x  84 inches


Luke Haynes’ expresses modern themes and portraits through quilts. His juxtaposition of well known quilting patterns and techniques, with bold imagery gives his work both relevance and impact. Using a lot of reclaimed clothing for his fabric adds interest and his often subtle coloured backgrounds ensure maximum impact of the subject.


What is it about quilting that appeals?


The conversation between function and aesthetic is a really dynamic one. I personally love working with a tactile medium, it makes my process a dialogue rather than a diatribe. 



Can you briefly describe your training?


I went to an arts conservatory then an architecture school. After which I made up what I thought quilting was, only to learn that I was at best 20% right. I have been learning from the history and community ever since.



What led you to become a quilter rather than a profession related to architecture?


I find that quilting and architecture have very important overlaps. They are working with space and function to create environments on the human scale. I find that my training and learning about building is the same as my working with stitching and creating installations.



When did you make your first quilt?


I made my first quilt in 2002 in Art School. 




How do you describe your style?


“A modern collision with tradition”



Where are you based and where do you work?


I live in LA. I have a studio in my loft just north of downtown LA. I work out of home and travel almost once a month to a show or lecture somewhere in the world. 



What is a typical working day?


There is no typical. I travel so much that I don’t have a schedule that I can adhere to. I work till the project is done and make sure once a week my inbox is empty.



I know this is almost impossible to answer but how long does a quilt take to make from start to finish?


Each changes, but I can create a small study in several days and some of the larger ones take over 6 months.



Where do you source your fabrics?


Most of my projects in the past three years are from sourced used clothing/textiles from second hand markets. I also use new quilting fabric. That way there is a conversation between the materials as well as the methods.



Would you say quilting is becoming more popular and if so why do you think that is?


Absolutely! There was a big upswing in DIY with the change in economy in 2008 and in the world of art we see a shift towards the imperfect hand of the artist, which brings focus on those objects made by ‘real people’ Quilting is one of those media that brings that ability to see the hand of the maker. Plus with the ubiquity of access to learning we are starting to bridge the gender gap.



What is the biggest challenge being a textile artist?


Explaining the value to the collector/investor. Quilts have inborn nostalgic and functional value, but the monetary value is often overlooked.



I love that on your website you have a section called your ‘best’ work. What is your favourite quilt so far and why?


My favourite quilt is often my latest. If that isn’t the case then I am doing it wrong. I want to always be growing.



Your exciting current project ‘The Log cabins of Donald Judd,’ is immense in scale, you’re making 50, 90” inches square quilts. What prompted you to do this?


It is time that I bring myself into the larger global conversation of art super stars, that is the way that I can create better work into the future, by having the global community help me grow and learn and show. Also I want to extend the ideas that I work with that quilts are objects, I am a sculptor not a painter. 



Do you take on commissions? If so what is the process for anyone interested in commissioning you?


I take on commissions all the time. About 30% of my work is commissions. Most come by contacting me and inquiring. I am pretty open to the conversation. 




What are your textile ambitions for the next few years?


I want to tour my 50 Log Cabins around the world and to start the conversation about quilts as sculptural objects with as many people as will listen.