I've added a link on my sidebar to the local paper that comes out every Wednesday here on Manitoulin Island. The publisher is Rick McCutcheon, and the current editor is Jim Moodie . The Manitoulin Expositor has won many awards over the years for its coverage of local events in a thorough and sometimes provocative manner. On Saturday, Rick himself interviewed me for the paper about my work and I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the completed article. Since it's not one of the ones on the website I'll quote some of it here. Thanks so much MrMcCutcheon. Both for this specific article and also for your many years of community involvement here on Manitoulin Island.
Two new innovative works by Manitoulin artist Judy Martin give an Island flavour to the 50th annual Northern Ontario Art Association (NOAA) travelling exhibit that began its local presentation last Saturday at the Sheguiandah Centennial Museum. Visitors to the Sheguiandah museum will observe a change in Ms Martin's style and technique, if not her theme. People who have come to know her as an artist who works in textiles and paints in watercolours and acrylics, may be surprised tosee the etched wax techniques she utilized in both of the works selected. The two pieces share a common nurturing theme: protection. Anyone who has seen displays of her work in textiles, in particular her quilts, will recall that this concept is important to the artist.
"I'm inspired right now by textiles from both Africa and India. The patterns have very meaningful and symbolic imagery. You can learn so much about person in these societies from their dress: their social status, whether they're married or whether they're widowed." Ms Martin went on to observe that the tunic, which would cover the torso, "is meaningful as the tunic covers people's most vulnerable parts: their heart and internal organs."
The other related piece in the exhibition is titled "protection apron" and in this case she has used the symbolically protective red fabric in an applique technique. This is a representation of an apron meant to tie around the wearer's waist, and the red fabric addition, she says, "covers a woman's most vulnerable part: her womb."
Ms Martin mused about the subject and style of her two protection pieces. "I'm used to working symbolically; My quilts are about protection."
It's a clear theme running through Ms Martin's work in a variety of mediums that she has an urgent need to show the woman /mother /female in her archetypal form as nurturer and protector. But she who would protect must herself be protected of course, and these two talismanic pieces of Ms Martin's new work nicely demonstrate this aspect of one of humanity's equations.