A gif of the exhibition title, Ambrosia, in Hoss Sharp with various glyphs and images shuffling and replacing random letters in the word.

Shannon Baker

A glyph of a paintbrush.

Common Thread

I've spent the last few months piecing together the stories and artifacts I’ve gathered to create a metaphorical, and physical, quilt of research about the people, history, and culture of the Northern Neck of Virginia.

The Northern Neck is the northernmost of Virginia’s 3 coastal peninsulas, bracketed by the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. When hearing about the history of the Northern Neck, you often hear only about the deep rooted fishing and farming industries that have formed the local economy, which are all important facets of local culture and the livelihoods of many of my neighbors. However my interest in the place that I'm from is much more rooted in the local people and their stories, not solely the industries they work for.

For this research project I’ve been visiting my hometown every week, where I’ve spent many of my days at the Kilmarnock Museum, going through archives. The research gathered thus far has pieced together the stories of local artists, printmaking history, and other small histories and artifacts of existence that are interwoven in the community, all tied together by the common thread of place.

Through this work this place that I’ve spent my entire life in, which has long felt familiar and mundane, has evolved into an area of newness and discovery; I’ve been relearning and re-experiencing the place that I once thought I knew everything about.

A triptych of close up photos and scans of a quilt. The first image is of four quilt squares with images printed on them laid out and in the sunlight, the second photo is of a metal flower stamp and a newspaper clipping spilling out of a zipper pocket sewn into the quilt, and the third is a scan of the quilt folded.
Handwritten signature from Shannon Baker in blue.