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QUILT, 2022. On view at the Rochester Institute of Technology as part of the Anna Ballarian Visiting Artist Series.

QUILT, 2021. In a quilt many different parts, each with its own story, come together to form a complex system, much like how we are all intricately connected to each other and to the natural environment. If one part of the quilt is removed, the pattern becomes unbalanced. In this sculpture, each square section or quilt block is unique, varying in depth, pattern, and color, but combined the larger quilt pattern becomes even more unique.


Quilting is a traditional practice that can be found throughout the world, in textile form and also in other formats such as painted on barn exteriors throughout the US. Handmade patchwork quilts are strongly linked to ideas surrounding warmth, memory, home, and the cycle of life. Quilts are also symbolic of creativity through resourcefulness as pieces of the quilt are often made from scraps of no longer useful fabrics or clothes. In this sculpture, for example, Quilt is made in part from wood that was repurposed from the support frame of a previous sculpture, and cut at different lengths and depths to form an interlocking arrangement.

PLASTIC DREAMS: SUNRISE AND SUNSET. Plastic Dreams: Sunrise and Sunset is an outdoor sculpture made from recycled plastic and located in Messejana, Portugal. Messejana is a small rural town of about 800 people. The sculpture is made from hundreds of pounds of plastic which was collected, washed, sorted by type and color, shredded, and then molded into 300 individual parts with a DIY manual injection machine.

PLASTIC WATERS. Made out of different types of plastic waste such as used plastic bags and discarded synthetic fabrics, Plastic Waters illustrates plastic’s contribution to climate change represented by rising water levels. This sculpture was made for Winter is Alive! a citywide art event in Madison, Wisconsin, addressing climate change.

Installation Audio - The Tides That Connect Our Boats
00:00 / 03:30

THE TIDES THAT CONNECT OUR BOATS. Through storms and starry nights, in the broad ocean or the safety of home-- where are they going and what are they carrying? Do they travel together or do they travel alone? In this installation, artist Lelia Byron uses a maritime theme as a vehicle for thinking about the multiscale and interconnected nature of the world. The project explores the idea of community and how as individuals we make up both local communities and a broader global community, both in space and time. When many individually unique paper boats are tied together in the installation they form an intricate web of connection.
In collaboration with Raumars, Lelia Byron came to Rauma to work on this installation from February to April 2020. Lelia worked with 5th, 6th, and 7th graders in five classes at two schools in Rauma (Rauman Normaalikoulu and Pyynpään Koulu) to make the prints in this installation. The project encouraged students to think about art as a language for telling their stories and ideas, and to reflect on ties with history and the future, Rauma and the world.
In the first component of this project, students mapped the course of their imaginary boats by creating symbols and patterns to tell visual narratives about their journeys. These patterns were then cut out of cardboard and used to make printing plates. Next, students explored the million color sea as they rolled, splattered, and mixed paint to make backgrounds for their prints. Finally, students anchored the imagined by creating multiple final prints with their cardboard printing plates. These student-made prints were then turned into paper boats, creating the core of this larger “ocean” installation.

Vedet, jotka veneitämme yhdistää

Lelia Byronin ja raumalaisten koululaisten yhteistyönä valmistunut Vedet jotka veneitämme yhdistää (The Tides Th