In and Out of Love
I was delighted that my recent quilt In and Out of Love was selected for Fine Art Quilt Masters shown at Festival of Quilts last week.
Let me tell you a bit more about the quilt. It's one of the latest in the series where I'm exploring the idea of using the quilt as a canvas. That is to say, to work on top of a pre-existing quilt with a variety of surface techniques.
You all know that I know how to make a quilt. So I hope you'll agree with me, that it's not necessary to prove that ability with every piece of artwork that I make. For this piece, I purchased a vintage quilt from eBay that suited my needs.
The first stage was to take scissors to it to alter the size and proportion of this large bed quilt to the wallhanging that I intended to make. The quilt was very nicely handquilted but I'm used to taking a rotary cutter to my own work, though I did wonder what the original maker might think as I took to the quilt with scissors!
I do all of the preparation and digital printing in my studio so I've got complete control over the process. Once the image was created it was time to print it to the quilt. Printing on a quilt is not a standard practise but with all the experimenting I've been doing lately, I'm starting to get a feel for what is practical and what isn't.
What's very important is that the surface already has stitch and that the printed image happens across that texture and thread. This is quite a different approach to printing a flat piece of fabric and then quilting it. I like working both ways, but this one had no post-print stitch at all.
Digital print, especially with a photographic image, can appear cold and maybe even clinical. I printed this one with the idea that areas of the image would be broken and fragmented, like an old photo that might have been damaged over the years.
In the gallery at Festival of Quilts I was in good company, with 18 or so other pieces of work that had been selected from about 100 entrants (I think, don't quote me!).
During the exhibition, I was over on the Through Our Hands Gallery in the next hall, but some people did manage to come and find me, and check I was OK 'after the divorce'. Ha! We're not even married. Seriously though, I'm always happy for viewers to put their own interpretation onto a piece of my artwork. Someone said that it was brave of me to make a piece of work that was so personal. Maybe that person didn't realise that all my work is about very personal things and thinkings. It's just not so obvious when usually you don't have your own face on it.
For the record, the words I put on the artist's statement were:
"Time goes by so quickly. We've watched all these other people fall in and out of love, but here we are."
On my dress, printed very subtly so you can only read it up close, were the words "You can choose what stays and what fades away", (slightly adjusted, but thanks Florence). You make up your own mind, but for me, it's about those old themes of love and loyalty.
You'll notice it's a layered image, six portraits in all, stacked, fading, coming and going, all present at once, but some stronger, some almost gone. Trying to convey a movie of a lifetime in a single flattened still image of a moment.
In and Out of Love
Digital print on quilt, hand painting.
140cm x 185cm
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