Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quilt National 17 (the Nancy Crow legacy)

....and the Skeptic by Karen Schulz   81 " x 76"
cotton fabric, cotton batting, thread, yarn
hand dyed, machine pieced, machine quilted, couched
"I found myself asking the question, "What are you afraid of?"  The answer came back, "Look at what people have done.  You can do anything."  I decided then and there to embrace the whole of myself, the poet and the skeptic."  Karen Schulz Maryland USA  (Juror's award)

Nightshift by Kit Vincent 79 x 79 "
cotton, silk, dyed and commercial cottons, thread, batting
machine pieced and quilted, appliqued
 "I began without expectation, allowing the design to surface as I worked.  My goal was to challenge the perception of the material and to create an emotional repsonse with the viewer."  Kit Vincent  Ontario Canada
Chasms 23 by beth Carney  54 x 67 inches
hand dyed cotton fabtic, silk batting, madeira threads
raw edged fusing, machine pieced and quilted
" The bright colours traveling through the sometimes black, sometimes murky-grey, become a symbol of who we are as we move through experiences in life that continually challenge us.  Beth Carney  New York  USA
Zebra by Bonnie Bucknam  51 x 51 inches
hand dyed cotton fabric
machine pieced and quilted
"While touring South Africa, I had the pleasure of seeing a zebra in the wild." Bonnie Bucknam Washington USA

Conversations on Meaning  by Gerri Spilka  82 x 100 inches
commercial and hand dyed cottons, cotton and wool batting, cotton thread
improvisationally machine pieced and quilted (denoted by the artist
machine quilted by Marina Baudoin
"Interactions series reflects a fascination with themes that reappear.  The interactions, relationships, and ambiguities inherent among people, place, and human-made and biolgical forces."  Gerri Spilka  Pennsylvania USA  Juror's award
Formations #26 by Petra Fallaux  83 x 85 inches
hand dyed pima cottons, procion mx dyes
freely cut fabric, machine pieced and quilted
"Having grown up in the Netherlands, I find that I am most attracted to spare geometric forms.  Formation 26 evokes the vast horizon and moody morning skies over coastal Holland"  Petra Fallaux Pennsylvania USA

 Petra Fallaux was one of the jurors for this 20th biennial of Quilt National and says this about the exhibition as a whole:

"The driving motor behind the first Quilt National at the Dairy Barn in 1979 was to provide an exhibit opportunity to artists whose work was unwelcome by the organizers of the existing quilt shows.  This original impetus has resulted in a rich, tangible, and continuous biennial history of throught-provoking Quilt nationals.  Today, Quilt National is an art exhibition among many others of its kind, but it will forever be the first of its kind."  Petra Fallaux
Nancy Crow, one of Quilt National Founders has ben making quilts for 40 years
standing in front of the quilt that was awarded best of show 
"Wow!  What a rich variety of works greet viewers of quilt National 17.  As a juror, I was thrilled to see so many strong quilts entered by artists whose work I did not know and additionally thrilled by the astounding new growth shown by seasoned artists known for their singular earlier styles.  In all categories, I found that the best works exhibited dramatically strong ideas combined with dedicated techniques that were skillfully executed."  Nancy Crow   Ohio  USA
Line Study 17 by Margaret Black    90 x 75 inches
Kona cotton, thread, wool bat, cotton batting
free form cutting and piecing, machine quilted
Best of Show award

quilt national 17

Denise Roberts  'finding connections'
 Judy Kirpich, 'anxiety no. 10/ retirement
  Marina Kamenskaya 'squares #11:red, yellow, blue"
 An overview of the exhibition
Bonnie Bucknam 'zebra'
Kerri Green 'prometheus' 
 To show the quilts in relationship to each other
Lynne Lee  'from the east to the west' 

Lynne Lee  'from the east to the west'  side b

Sue Benner 'body parts 3: cuffed'
Cecile Trentini 'one year'
Edith Bieri-Hanselmann 'fury and despair'
 because the printed catalogue is not at all the same as being there
Julia Graziano 'frameworks iii'
Pat Pauly 'Normandy'
Barbara Kanaya  'chaos of thoughts'
 where you can experience the large scale of some of the works
Pamela Loewen 'butterfly garden'
Lynne Lee 'from east to west - side b'
Petra Fallaux 'formations #26'(a peek of reverse)
Nancy Crow 'Overconnected but finding a little space: seeking solitude #3'
Vivian Lombrozo ' building blocks'
Carol Larson ' 'defining moments 12: no means no'
Diane Nunez 'cinque terre

Further posts with images of  quilt national coming soon.
These images from the opening May weekend in Athens Ohio at the Dairy Barn.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

island self

how wonderful are islands

vivid and pure

people are like islands,
self contained, whole and serene
respecting other people's solitude   (Gift from the Sea)
I am my self.
My self does not need a lot of interaction with others.
It needs its own self
It needs solitude and quiet
I am not anti social
I love to hold my grandchildren close and interact with them through creative imaginings
I love to watch and listen to my beautiful daughters, all 4 of them

It's easy to lose myself though,
and not give my SELF honour and respect
Studying  Agnes Martin, Luce Irigaray, and Pema Chodron has made me more OK

I am me
I am intelligent
I am sensitive

I take care of myself by making art
I take care of myself by stitching
in and out
soft caress
in and out
be still

that's all there  is
all there is
patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches.

patience and faith

one should lie empty, open as a beach, waiting for a gift from the sea

women give and give and give

everyone, especially women, should be alone for some part of each week - each day

the most important times in one's life are when one is alone
we need solitude in order to find the true essence of ourselves

our state of grace

our inner stillness

(these thoughts from gift from the sea)
time is a feminist issue

and time alone brings us close to spirituality
I am using my usual techniques
reverse applique
eyelet stitch,
back stitch
french knots
repeating favourite stitches

over and over

I use a lot of repeated marks

I learned this from my mother (nature)
this post is the second in the series Sunday photos

Friday, June 09, 2017

The Perspective From Here

Yesterday I parceled up three pieces for an exhibition in Thunder Bay of 150 artists from North Western Ontario.   Organized to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, it opens June 23 at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.  I was invited to participate because I was born in that immense and isolated region of Ontario.
One of the pieces (shown above)  was in private collection and has been loaned back to me (and the Thunder Bay Gallery) for this exhibition.  As I packed it up, I enjoyed looking at, touching and remembering it.  

I love that the Thunder Bay Art Gallery considers me one of their regional artists, even though I moved to Manitoulin over 20 years ago.  Canada is a huge country and even though I am now only 6 hours drive time from Toronto instead of the 20 hours I grew up with, I still feel isolated.  (if that is possible these days with internet)
Beginning with Time is a response to Canada’s natural grandeur and rawness, specifically the beautiful and powerful rock cuts through Northern Ontario’s Cambrian shield and the tree covered cliffs of the inland fjords found in the Gros Morne area of Newfoundland.
I believe that the intimacy we have with domestic textiles and the tactile nature of cloth has a psychic power.
These 150th celebrations are focusing in on Canada's history - much of it in reference to reparation with the indigionous peoples who lived here before the Europeans.  My work is considering what it was like for the settlers who came.

Canada in its early days was a dangerous, cold, and lonely place for European women.  There must have been a longing for the more refined life and family left behind.  Yet I believe that those brave women must also have experienced deep wonder at the immensity and the natural raw beauty of Canada.  I feel that they must have looked at the sky a lot.
With my work, I strive to express our emotional and vulnerable inner world.  I believe this is what art does best.­
 Titles of all pieces are stitched into them.
Better images of the pieces are in my New Work blog.
My Light Green Heart.
Canadian Pioneer.
Beginning With Time.
The process and the materials in these three pieces tell a story of survival. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

a thin place

time is so important when it comes to seeing.

and anything that slows us down is a spiritual practice

this post is about the cross symbol

the cross is considered by many cultures to be a symbol of perfection

and when we consider the standing human body with feet together, arms outstretched,

that too is a cross

so maybe this post is also about our bodies and about spiritual practice
this antique lead water pipe looks like a cross, doesn't it?

visual art is a language without words

we have such a high value in words

but can you really articulate a spiritual experience?

there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground  (Lois Huey Heck)
more about the cross

it's a vertical (spirit) crossing through a horizontal (matter)

and where they cross, that is the thin place

sometimes thin places are intended

in Korea, I have read that the horizontal line of the cross represents the earth,

and the vertical line is the sky,

and the centre where they cross, is a human body

there, in the thin place
love is the greatest and hardest work (Brian Doyle)

The images in this post are of Levens Hall in northern England.  I wrote about Levens Hall topiary gardens here.  The patchwork (1708) in the two bottom photos is reputed to be the oldest in England and is the reason I visited in 2015.

Just rambling here, I cleaned out an old camera card and found a lot of interesting images.  I had forgotten about these. 

Friday, June 02, 2017

road trip after qn

 We drove east from Athens Ohio towards New York state.
 We wanted to see our daughter in the last week of her residency at Women's Studio Workshop.
April is curious about materials .
She's exploring ceramics and printmaking
She sets up situations that make use of the wsw's kiln and press,
She allows both tools and materials to do what they each do best

Her artwork arrives.
Her artwork makes us think about how we are just specks in this big world
I took more photos of her work - maybe later I will share them.
We made our way north and west back home to Canada by way of country roads.
We noticed the immensity of the USA and the emptiness

Pema Chodron teaches that there are three principal charateristics of human existence
Three facts of life
Stop struggling against them, she says.
The three principal characteristics of human existence are impermanence, ego-lessness and suffering.
The hardest one for me to understand is ego-lessness.  what does that mean?

it's the idea of just being in the world
just being
just going
there isn't really a sun'rise' or a sun'set'.  the sun just keeps going
and although the rainbow seems so vivid and real, in truth it is no thing
it just is
I will stitch my way through this idea of egolessness and my understanding of it

I love stitching.
Stitching and me, we just are.