catching up after a lengthy hiatus…
…during which I was VERY BUSY, completing three works for the Quilt National submission in mid-September. Results were announced two weeks ago and, alas, none of my works was accepted this year. This is my third attempt in six years, and this time I started thinking about my submissions WHILE I was viewing the last show – a private biennial juried exhibit, Quilt National is held at the Dairy Barn Art Center in Athens, Ohio, and represents the state of the art quilt. So, I had invested a lot of time and energy with the goal of GETTING IN THIS YEAR!
After my three pieces were finished and I awaited my professional photo shoot, I took a personal inventory and declared that what I had done was outside my usual operating procedure, I’d never invested this highly in any show or any one event. I decided I would not do a repeat performance. If I got in, or if I didn’t, I would never again submit to this venue. I think that, primarily, right now, my reason is that I want to step outside the insular world of ‘art quilts’ and start to concentrate on getting exposure for my work in the general art world.
I’ve spent the last few weeks licking my chops, analyzing which new direction to take with my work (or not), looking, thinking, meditating and letting things fall naturally in place, just generally getting ready to jump right back on that horse, as my dear Nana, Grace Hall, would have told me were she still here. The horse MAY be of a different color, not sure yet. I know I am working on a project that is way outside my usual style, and it is an assemblage (new to me, as well) and that I’m starting to collect odd and ends of vintage textiles that I’ve always coveted but have not previously incorporated into my art. So…with that….I’ll say a few things about my works that didn’t make the cut this year at Quilt National.
I’m passionate about putting an end to hydro-fracking. I made a small piece two years ago, probably posted herein, here is another:
NO FRACKING WAY. Measures almost five feet in each direction. Cotton, silk, cotton canvas.
Statement: Big-money’s latest assault on our natural resources – the water supply of millions of our citizens and our tranquil bucolic landscape. BAN hydroFRACKING NOW!
I’m also passionate about the way our elected officials in Washington have conducted themselves these past almost four years – in a word, DISGRACEFUL!
SHABBY POLITICAL CHIC, 50″ H x 84″ W. Commercial cotton, cotton diaper, tarlatan, flannel, canvas, ink.
Statement: Our honorable democratic ideals – torn, tarnished and trampled by a partisan Congress.
And my personal favorite: REMNANTS, 20″ H x 37″ W. Commercial cotton scraps, upholstery remnant, discarded jeans, monk’s cloth, antique found walking stick.
Statement: Ethics, morality and the American way in shreds – remnants of our past glory.
This work felt like it made itself, from remnants and leftovers in my studio after the making of SHABBY POLITICAL CHIC (above).
and a close-up of REMNANTS –
Photo credits belong to Andy Wainwright.
Final word: No real regrets, I think this work is artistically strong and I derived a huge amount of personal satisfaction from expressing my disgust at current political events. I always feel good when I can tear after my usual schtick of cutting and fusing, and it felt good to revert to some long-neglected hand embroidery techniques. I totally understand the ‘crap shoot’ arena of national exhibits and have not previously let declinations get the better of me; in the future I will plan more judiciously and not let the project or event overtake me. Famous last words…..