Tuesday, June 08, 2021

being 14

There were so many babies born in 1951, that we had to go to high school in shifts.  Grade nine classes were about 30 each and organized into groups:  9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, etc.  Town kids could walk to school early in the morning so they were in the 9a and also 9b groups,  I think.  9c and 9d were country kids (like me) who came in on the bus at 9 and left at 3:30.  
There was still grade 13 in those days, and classes were streamed either for university prep or for technical college.  We had home rooms.  

There were sports teams and band that practiced after school.  There were school dances.  My brother and I were not allowed to go to dances or try out for sports, but we were allowed to go to band practice, and did so.   That happened on Mondays at 6 pm so we stayed in town and waited.  

My parents had purchased some rental buildings in town, and one of them had a basement that my dad used as a workshop, so I waited in that little dark space and remember eating chocolate powder and being alone.  I don’t remember reading or watching TV.  How did I pass the time?  And where was my brother?  I don't remember him waiting...maybe he went home on the bus and then drove back in the car to pick me up.  He was two years older.  About art.  I took art and music in grade 9, but in grade 10 I took Latin and typing.  I was allowed to go into the art room during lunch hours and paint there with oil paints.  I loved this and created quite a few paintings inspired by National Geographic photography during my high school years.  Teachers bought them.   
A mish mash of photos illustrate this post.  They make sense if you think about how cloth is connected to life story.  Otherwise, I can't explain them.

From the top:  a detail of my studio wall about ten years ago, before I cleaned it off
:  my 2017 Bidwell quilt with French knot embroidery inspired by murmurations of black birds
: the summer dining room, with the amazing table cloth received from one of my daughters
: my 2019 exhibition Beauty, Emotion, Spirit, Soul, with Lake and Monumental Simplicity hanging from the ceiling like sculptures
: this morning, June 8 2021, showing the folded up rock cut wool sculpture, and if you look, you can see more of my textiles in company with the beautiful suzani embroidery that I bought in Turkey when we were there in 2013.

The text is memory.  And how we remember.  And how much.  And what we censor.  


Julierose said...

I agree that our quilts are memory-laden guides to our past lives; I have yet to finish my Mom's grieving quilt after she passed--it will be 5 years this month--I take it out, work a bit, remember... and when it gets too hard, I put it back. When I'm ready it will be finished...when the grief isn't still so raw...

thanks for sharing your stories...I love that ..hugs, Julierose ;)))

kathy loomis said...

I don't see that my "serious" show quilts provide much reflection of my life, perhaps because they're made largely from solid colors and are abstract. Some do reflect a particular anxiety or political concern of the time, but mostly no.

On the other hand, my functional quilts, which are mostly made from scraps, are fabulous walks down memory lane -- the dress I wore in seventh grade, my sister's kindergarten dress, some fabric from my grandmother, curtains from our first-married apartment, leftover bits from an early quilt, that sort of thing.

Too bad that by limiting myself largely to cottons and some blends, I forfeited the opportunity to use other memory fabrics. I did use a bunch of them a couple of years ago when I was making "daily people," little figures made from bits of fabric. Lots of polyester doubleknits showed up in those people, a great way to remember my life in those polyester days of the 1970s.

Janice Turner said...

I loved this meandering thoughts of time gone by along with the photos of quilts and tablecloths and random bits of fabric.

Judy Martin said...

Hi Kathy
I’ve been thinking about what you have said about your ‘serious’ work not holding memory. I disagree. The pieces that you designed and sewed together took time. And that time, what was happening in your life, the world, your mind, is held in those pieces. And I bet that when you look at and/touch those beautiful pieces, memories come back. X

Camilla G. said...

Always a special time reading and looking. ✨