Showing posts with label stitch journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stitch journal. Show all posts

Friday, February 28, 2014

hillside kind of feeling

It's the last weekend of the Mended World exhibition at the Art Gallery of Sudbury. 
The gallery is two floors.  The photos in this post are of the works installed upstairs.
The stitched journal, "Not To Know, but to Go On" takes up two walls.  It's made by couching fabric to artist canvas with embroidery floss.
The curator selected some of my writing to place here and there on the walls.  
"Consider how it feels to be on a hillside looking out over the horizon.  It is the vastness that takes us into our own inner immensity.  The many small marks within that space (ripples in lakes, wisps of clouds, moving grasses) keep the eye moving and distract us just enough.  It is my hope that you have this hillside kind of feeling when confronted with the work in this exhibition." 
The scale of the work is important,  but so are the small hand made marks.  They are intimate.
My friends climbed the stairs with me up to the second floor.  Then they rested. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Catalogue

"Mended World is Judy Martin's third solo exhibition at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.  In 2004, the Gallery worked with the artist to organize My Hand Sings Red and in 1991, I Will Remember You Until I Die.  Though she has lived on Manitoulin Island for the last twenty years, Judy was born in Fort Frances and lived a good part of her life in Kenora, so we embrace her as an artist from Northwestern Ontario.  Those who saw Judy's previous exhibiitons at the Gallery will be surprised at the developement of her work over the last nine years. On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the thunder Bay Art Gallery, I extend congratulations to her on the monumental achievement that is represented by this exhibition. "

Above text is from the foreword to the 24 page catalogue for the Mended World Exhibition written by Sharon Godwin, Director, Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

Now, with this show up, my degree finished, my dad finally living in Little Current, and my studio collapsed into a bedroom at home - I feel that I am on an edge of something new.

It feels open.   I don't know what will come next, but something will.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

just enough

floor in the sultan's palace, istanbul

nine patch connected dots

stitching between Ankara and Goreme, Turkey with wedding manicure

river of time, not knowing, going on

I'm home again, and preparing the artist talk for the Mended World exhibition opening.
The gallery has asked for a visual presentation, and so I gather images.
I will tell people the three important things about the body of work in the show.

Time........the many kinds of time
Touch......the mother of the senses
Large empty spaces filled with small marks...distracting the viewer's eye just enough

Monday, August 26, 2013

Time parcel

She buys the thread in bulk at the local dime store but the fabrics come from her stash.
Finally putting these fabrics to use - some having lain fallow for years - gives them a purpose to be sure, but it also represents a letting go, the slow elimination of a life's accumulation.
This diary is in this sense a purge.  From this release, a disquieting question arises about the nature of the undertaking.
What aspect is more significant, the slow unfurling of the daily stitchery, its limitless capacity materialized row upon row, panel after panel?
Or the gradual erosion of a life's potential always on the horizon, here reflected in that treasury of fabrics secreted away for future use?
Not To Know but To Go On presents itself as what remains, the beautiful detritus of life that can only be registered through the passage of time.
Time, her work emphasizes cannot be paused, and even the artist ceases to maintain control of it.
As days sprawl into weeks, as months pass, then years, the scale of the private and controlled endeavor of Not to Know But To Go On threatens to overtake the artist, spilling out of her studio, extending her environment. 
Barely containable, Martin's stitch diary rolls out as a chronograph of her life but also an indicator of the inevitability of the passage of time.
These long quilted panels materialize the past.
If an understanding of the past cannot be reached, it can still be spatialized. 

All text from Dr. Elizabeth Kalbfleisch's essay about the work in the Mended World Exhibition.
Images are of the figuring out how to display it, and about how to ship it (weight is nearly 40 lbs).
Thanks to my husband Ned for his support throughout, and for the beautiful custom wooden crate.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


There remains a lot of finishing work for the stitched journal, Not to Know, but To Go On. 
The 10 to 14 days documented in thread are dated with chain stitch embroidery on the back of each panel.
Then the panels need to be stitched together.  I am using cotton tape.
Then I finish with hem stitch from the front to make a seamless join.
Once two panels are stitched together, I reach for another set of two.
Most of these panels are for the years 2012 and 2013, displayed here in sets of two.
In this work I am referencing my cultural heritage. The stitched panels resemble woven Finnish rag rugs.  Thank you Nina Marie for invitation to off the wall Friday.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

the final stitches are with red thread

July 1 
 July 2
 July 3
 July 4, July 5
 July 6, July 7
 July 8, July 9
 July 10 
The end

I began this stitch journal "Not to Know, But To Go On" on my birthday in 2010 and I ended it on my birthday in 2013.  Three years of not knowing, but going on.  Three years of one skein of cotton embroidery floss each day.

During those three years,
two of our children married,
I graduated with a second fine art degree,
the lengthy community circle project continued on and on,
my father moved into long term care,
the two grandchildren grew into little boys,
we travelled,
I turned 60.  

go on,
not know

Saturday, May 18, 2013

passage of time

 When Vincent Van Gogh was 32 he bought a stack of Japanese prints and studied them.
 He was influenced by the clear contour, the unshaded light, and the pure colour laid down with no attention to gradation of tone.
 "In studying Japanese art one finds out how the wise, the philosophic, the intelligent man spends his time."  Vincent
And still this project continues.  It must seem as if this is the only stitching that I am doing.  One skein of embroidery floss a day.

Now I am stitching the panels together into a long river of time.

Friday, April 26, 2013


I'm glad that I have my stitch journal with me.
I don't get much chance to work on it here with dad, but every now and then there are minutes.
TIME by Kosso Eloul
Dad was discharged from hospital on Monday.  He has been back to doctor twice since then for new prescriptions.

The sculpture in the photo above is along the waterfront in Kingston. (more info here)
Notice the triangle of infinite space.  (photographed during one of my hospital-condo walks)
Not to know, but to go on.
A journal of a lived time (autumn 2010) visible...and also the time that I am living through right now because of my touching touching touching.