Sunday, October 01, 2006

Variations on a theme

Over the years there has been quite a lot of discussion about working in a series, and particularly if you want to consider yourself a "serious" artist then the advice from many quarters in the upper echelons of the "quilt" art world is to work in a series and work it into a long progression of works that all relate.That is fine if you want to work in that way, but there are other ways of working as well and one of them is thematically.

I tend to work to themes- they set my imagination more alight than endless variations in abstraction.And yes they are variations on a theme so they do have that in common with working in a series. I suppose I am a semi-romantic still wallowing on the edges of realism.I have over the years made fire quilts. I think they number 17 or 18 plus some smaller ones- I only have one and a half left ( the half being one part of a diptych). I hesitate to call them a series as the imagery is quite wideranging and identifiable , though some are a bit more abstract than others, but they do relate to each other both by theme and technique. I have images of them in all sorts of format- but not digital to see how they do relate to each other.

And in recent years I have been working with variations of pomegranate- again I hesitate to call them a series as such though the inspiration is all pomegranate with its mythical overtones, as well as its modern religious iconography and its medicinal properties, which seems to be so much the basis of the so-called "mythical" fruits..There are a few more waiting in the wings arising out of the postcards I made. I painted a piece of cloth the other day which will form the basis of the new work ( but I have to buy some more fabric to dye)

And since my visit to the Middle east I have been playing around with Crosses and by connection noughts as well. Variations of crosses, colourings, stitching- looking at ethnic clothing, the use of cross stitch in western society, and as mark making and identity . The page from my sketch book was variations I came up with whilst sitting and waiting for connecting flights in airports. The page made one waiter at Heathrow very interested- ( I had about 6 hours to kill there so had something to eat and a glass of wine) he kept coming back to see my progress and said he wished he could do such a thing. I said he could- he said he would try. I hope he did!

1 comment:

joyce said...

Your sketch book looks intriguing. I hope you inspired the waiter at Heathrow. We need more artists in the world.