PASADENA, CA.- Gallery 30 South
, one of the countrys most popular galleries for emerging and internationally renowned artists and pop culture enthusiasts has announced an extraordinary first-ever exhibition Lydia Breckenbridge: African American Punk Rock Quilts. The show opened September 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018.
Lydia Breckenridge was kicking Billy Idol out of bed and turning down dates with Mark Mothersbaugh, Harry Nillson, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan because she was too busy playing in The Boneheads, the seminal, LA Punk band that launched the careers of Craig Lee (author of Hardcore California), Robert Lopez (co-founder of The Zeroes, better known as El Vez: the Mexican Elvis), Elissa Bello (co-founder of The Go-Gos), and Alice Bag (front-woman for The Bags)whom Lydia replaced.
Shortly thereafter, Lydia found herself working on music video production for artists including A-Ha, Scorpions, and Michael Jackson.
Lydias punk roots stretch back to her days living at the Wilton Hilton (featured on the cover of The Cramps Psychedelic Jungle ) where she roomed with Kid Congo. Frequent visitors were members of The Blasters, The Flyboys, The Screamers, Lydia Lunch, Twisted Roots, and Jeffrey from Gun Club (who f*cked up the carpet while decorating his jean jacket with fake blood).
One of the last completed pieces is the most provocative; a tribute to Heather Heyer who was killed a year ago when a car slammed into a crowd of people protesting against white nationalists at a Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Lydia has combined her love for quilting with her music background to create pieces inspired from her memories of the early days of the punk rock scene, incorporating 80s motifs with a centuries old craft.
African American quilting is almost as old as the history of America, and yet the textile traditions of black Americans are less thoroughly documented than other aspects of folk art such as music, dance, or speech. What is known can be traced back to the prominent influences of four civilizations of Central and West Africa: the Mande-speaking peoples (in the modern countries of Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and Burkino Faso); the Yoruba and Fon peoples (in the Republic of Benin and Nigeria); the Ejagham peoples (in Nigeria and Cameroons); and the Kongo peoples (in Zaire and Angola). As slaves, and also their textiles, were traded heavily throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and the Southern United States, the traditions of each distinct region became intermixed. Thus by the time that early African American quilting became a tradition in and of itself, it was already a combination of textile traditions.
The artworks in this exhibition represent both an affront and continuation of the classical themes and patterns of quilting that have been influenced by African aesthetic, religious, and cultural traditions. Lydia Breckenridges punk-rock take on the African American Quilt is not only innovative, it is a form of autobiography from a first-wave LA Punk Rocker. What could be more punk rock than subverting a tradition born of slavery and recasting it as a form of empowered memoir?
Lydia Breckenridge was born in Los Angeles in 1956. She is the beloved shop manager of Billy Shires world-famous Wacko.