Monday, March 16, 2009

intellectual space

In the Centre of the Body is the Soul (detail) 1996

I've recently realized that I can re-photograph my older pieces with a digital camera and thus have more and better images of those pieces. Pictured here is a detail of my break-through 'masterpiece' made a dozen years ago and photographed yesterday. This is the piece that opened my eyes to hand embroidery. Before this piece, my quilts had relied on colour, pieced traditional pattern, and some image transfer.

"You don't have a life, do you?" asked one of my friends when she saw this quilt for the first time. One remembers that kind of comment. Embroidery is often seen as useless busy work by most people but I would argue that stitching creates a subversive solitary space for women to think. Women who stitch own their own intellectual space separate from the rest of the world –separate from their mothers, their husbands, their children, their co-workers.

8 comments:

Gwen said...

This is incredibly beautiful! I saw it on your website, and am so glad to see a close-up of it. I admire your work so much. I also agree with you about the solitary space of hand work!

Karen said...

I too, have heard that comment when someone sees my work full of hand stitching. Stitching enriches my life with its beauty, silence, peacefulness and zen like balances. I feel I have a much clearer view of life because of the pause of activities while stitching.A very full life indeed!

Karen said...

I wanted to add that I really do like this quilt full of beauty!

Lesley Turner said...

your thoughts on hand stitching are profound. Thanks, Judy

Fioleta said...

This quilt looks beautiful. I wish you photograph smaller sections of it in even closer detail.

In a way I'm re-discovering my own intellectual separate space and struggle to keep comments like that popping into my mind. At times it is still hard for me not to dismiss desire to create as useless, so thank you for the inspiration.

Gunnels blog said...

Wow this is great !

Philippa said...

Couldn't agree more strongly with your comments about the space that stitching creates. People can be so obtuse when they make comments like you got in response to this wonderful peace.

The other amazing thing about stitching is that it can actually lower blood pressure. Perhaps doctors should prescribe it. So much more productive that all those drugs.

purejuice said...

jsoi over here from spirit cloth.
uhm, comments like that are just plain ignorant. here's a very good and very expensive book about the life of the mind, sort of, that stitching entails. i really recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/Subversive-Stitch-Embroidery-Making-Feminine/dp/0415902061/ref=ed_oe_p