Friday, October 12, 2012

Versitility of our medium?

A poster on the SAQA list,  Janice Dawes, has introduced some new ideas about why she has decided to embrace the description QUILT art . One sentence made me take much so that I decided to blog after ignoring my pathetic page for many months( years?)

The sentence reads

" I don't think a painter has as many options to express themselves in their art" [ as quilt artists]

Coming to fabric art from a long history of painting I couldn't agree more. I think the many more expressive possibilities that fabric offers has kept me interested now for 10+ years and I still haven't discovered all that much.  As a teacher I try to encourage students to see what fabric does that paint can't. You can dye it, print it, stitch it, bend fold and mutilate it pleat, scrunch, stuff and fray it,  You can embellish it with whatever is suitable to your intent.....all for the sake of a unique visual expression.

The only problem with MY argument is that with all this potential, why do we not see more variety in the various pictorial possibilities?  Why does FIGURATIVE OR PICTORIAL OR NON ABSTRACT OR REALISM give us more or less the same image .Generally an image derived from a photo that has been reduced in tonal shapes on the computer then collaged with either realistic palette or not.  And these images ARE amazing in some cases.  But they tell one story IMO and rarely evoke any questions or controversy or dialogue about  the person, or environment, or interior. Surely the WAY we choose to depict something says a lot about that something. And fabric offers so many more ways than painting can. But why do we not see more figures like these?


Why aren't people exploring landscapes like this?

 Or still life like this?

This kind of diversity is what I want to see more of so that our medium can be used to it's full advantage.

Now I know I may have offended some who may see themselves in my descriptions. It is not intended as such. I respect anyone who pursues a creative endeavor of any kind. It gives people pleasure to look at them and gives the artist pleasure to create them. I just want to see our repertoire expand a little more.