Saturday, November 26, 2011

dream work

I've been trying to work at a larger scale in this new body of work. These three pieces each measure between 9 and 10 feet across. I had dreams of working even larger (12 feet or 15 feet) but my studio is only 9 ½ feet high and besides, most fabric only comes 5 feet wide at most. Working large is a big commitment, but I like the feeling I get when standing next to my big pieces. They are so large that I can not touch any edge when I am in the centre. Those of us who work with cloth automatically communicate a sense of intimacy because of the material itself. Adding hand stitch and its caress involves the viewer even more. Touch is the mother of the senses. Stitching takes time however. Each stitch takes about a second to make. At the scale I’ve chosen to work, time becomes a limit. I keep reminding myself about the feelings I have when I’m alone in nature. I’m hoping that the monumental scale of the work in combination with the intimacy of hours and hours of hand made marks will land my viewer on a teetering edge of wonder. The scale of the work adds more than just more cloth. It is challenging. These five pieces are not as big. Most are 60" or so. Recently I realized that my art with cloth doesn't need to be a quilt. That revolutionary idea has freed me. For years, my work was grounded in the language of the bed and all the life drama that happens there. The quilt was a protection blanket.
Because of their scale, I think this new work continues with those ideas, but also that other intimate thing that happens in bed. The dreaming.

18 comments:

Heavens2Betsy said...

Hi Judy. I love the idea of you not reaching the edges of your creations, inhabiting the middle space. I wonder what lurks there out in the far reaches? I always find myself intensely involved in reading your writing and looking at your pieces. I am awe struck at the starting place of your materials and admire them as they are, before you adorn them so beautifully. penny

Hoola Tallulah said...

I am really looking forward to seeing these large pieces evolve and come to life with stitch. I used to write my dreams down each morning, I don't have the time anymore with the children being so young, but one day, I think it would be kinda cool to wake up and stitch down my dreams, on a cloth I had just slept under.

deanna7trees said...

i'm already 'on a teetering edge of wonder' when looking at your work. hope i don't fall off the edge. i love seeing the large pieces but don't like working on them.

helen salo said...

I am very anxious to see these progress, as I'm curious if you will reflect the "intamicy of hours and hours of handmade marks" with a lightly stitched piece or encrusted with stitch On a scale this big it would not take too many stitches to convey the wonder.I love watching all yours pieces progress.

Velma said...

dream cloths. that makes me wonder why, sometimes, i take a certain cloth or other to bed with me. i will place it on my chest, next to my pillow, on my pillow, or where a hand (or sometimes my toes) can find it. i have never thought much about it.

Jacky said...

Judy I look at this in wonder already...monumental comes to mind. Such large pieces of cloth, such tiny stitches.
It opens my mind to possibilities looking at these cloths. I can understand how these bigger cloths, not for the bed, have given you a new freedom.

p.s.

I had lunch with a group of friends yesterday and one of the women had made a curtain for her studio. Quite large, a little transparent, similar to a bojagi cloth (although she has never seen one and had never heard of one). One tiny section she had small flap heavily encrusted with beads and sequins...a lovely foil to an otherwise utilitarian stitched piece. I wish I had taken a photo.

April said...

beautiful mom. such colours!

Valerianna said...

I'm reminded of cloth ritual - of wrapping oneself in cloths that have been chanted over, prayed with and enchanted with magical symbols and intentions... then using in ritual or dreaming rites. I love that your understanding of your work with cloth has expanded, not just quilt but the infinite space of dreams and, to me, landscape.

magsramsay said...

I'm in awe
Large pieces have such a presence

Grace Martin said...

These are just fantastic. Love.

Karen said...

Working as large as you are stretches the body and mind. In this way, your studio practice is also a yoga practice. Congratulations!

Serena said...

i have so much to say
and yet
really have nothing.

there
you got me!

Wen Redmond said...

I love your work. The pieces remind me of a poem or warm feelings when in silent reflections.
I remember you from Susan Hammond's workshop at the SDA conference. I will look forward to reading your entire blog.

stitchinglife.com said...

I smiled as I read the last two words of your post.

Penny Berens said...

I'm teetering.

neki desu said...

power to you! i'd be daunted by the scale. keeping a close look on the outcome

Hannah Lamb said...

Really inspiring... would love to work on this scale myself. I think I need to borrow some of your bravery!

April said...

mom, i don't know if i ever saw some of these in the real. like the one on the right with the blue. i love!

you're back now? love you