New Quilt Museum Exhibit Shows Struggle Turned to Art in Tallgirl Series: A Body of Work

Oct 19, 2017

"Coulda Beens," a piece of the Tallgirl Series, highlights what Larson could have been had circumstances in her life been different
Credit Greg Gardea Photography/www.live2dye.com

          At 13 years old, Carol Larson stood at 6 feet and 6.5 inches. Due to surgically shortening her legs at an attempt at 'normalcy,' Larson faced challenges every day of her life, which she then translated into various art forms -- one of which has found a new home in Paducah's National Quilt Museum. 

        In 1965, 6'6 1/2" tall Carol Larson, along with her mother, pursued a surgical procedure which would remove 6 inches of bone from Carol's legs. Larson's mother was concerned at her daughter's ability to live a normal life at her natural height, and although some doctors considered it crazy, one finally agreed to go through with the operation. This surgery would present Larson with challenges throughout the rest of her life, including a year-long recovery in a wheelchair and walking abnormalities once she was upright again. 
         Larson turned to art as a way to work through the understanding, grieving, and acceptance of her debilitating journey. Because she often had to sew her own clothes in order to get the right size, Larson has had a long history working with textiles. Upon retiring at 50, Larson turned to quilt making as a new creative outlet. She began incorporating the emotional and physical pain she had all but ignored into her artwork in her multimedia exhibit, Tallgirl Series: A Body of Work, which consists of 15-23 textile art pieces, a self-published book, and a a PowerPoint presentation. 
           Tracy Ross invited Larson to Sounds Good to discuss her artwork, its new home in Paducah's Quilt Museum, and the arduous journey towards finding peace within herself. More information on Carol Larson and her artwork are available on her website.