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.


  1. Powerful statement
    and does honor to this powerful work, Judy.

  2. Wow, what an accomplishment! This is material for thought.

  3. Once again this very work -- and the work in the work -- inspires. Thank you.

  4. I can not express deeply enough how touched I have been to be a witness to your process.....

  5. A beautiful process, product, and response.

  6. to be seen is such a gift. you, my friend, have been seen. and i am standing in applause.

  7. it makes my heart happy to see your journal thus

    and seeing why do I think of Virgina Woolf --again-- every stroke of the wrist at the pen, at the needle, the brush... (threads/language) writing us.
    Blessing us.

    Thank You. Blessings.

  8. I have been following the progress of this piece as well as the Manitoulin Circle Project and I am just in awe. Thank you for your conviction and for your willingness to share. Amazing.

  9. "extending her environment"--into ours, thankfully received

  10. i have also followed this and to see it hung is wonderful. i appreciate how long you worked on it and how dedicated you were.
    i alway admire your work and even looked up the island to see where you live. looks like a wonderful place.20

  11. I could not have put this into someone else's hands for shipping! You are a brave woman. Love the piece, and also enjoy going into your archives to visit its creation.

  12. such powerful images of this long deep work, the words are perfect.

  13. I am going to miss all these pieces, I love them, their colours, their texture, and their photos. I can't even begin to imagine how conflicted you must feel about your constant companion not being with you on this trip.

  14. congratulations on a momentous achievement

  15. just going. yes

  16. Very powerful...both the work and the words. To see this. To stand before your exquisite work would be sublime. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  17. oh, judy, this is great stuff.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx