'Summer Rain' Jo Budd 2007
'Shadow I' Gill Banks
Inspired by a weekend of textile events , I rushed back to my sewing room and rather than setting to work I cleared my design wall , table and hopefully my thoughts.
On Saturday, the talk by Jo Budd at CQ AGM was as good as I anticipated, covering over 30 years of her work from painting to painting with fabric to painting on fabric. Ruminations on why she uses fabric; the ripples that are produced by stitch; her love of backs-the 'unconscious side'; the importance of edges; the 'unprecious' scraps that become the most treasured. I look at the small piece of hers I own and see in miniature the concepts she was describing - the layering of transparent and opaque, the use of rust, the frayed edges, the anchoring hand stitches. She talked about her sketches in fabric of which this is an example and the difficulties scaling up ( her large pieces are huge!) - hopefully a chance to explore this further in 'microcosm to macroscosm' summer school. Those of us lucky enough to have places talk in whispers and also in a small voice I confess I didn't go to the Quilt Show at the V&A and therefore was probably the one person in the room who hadn't seen Jo's work there.
At the Contemporary Textile Fair at Landmark Centre on Sunday (going early to avoid the Rugby at Twickenham) I succumbed to an atmospheric piece by exhibitor Gill Banks which now I look at it again shares some of the same qualities as Jo's. This will be my birthday present from Ian once we find a frame.
Interesting to compare the mounting techniques (both effective ).Unlike Jo's piece which is secured behind a mount frame, Gill sewed the fabric onto a piece of foamboard which was then glued to mountboard. This means it stands proud and the frayed edges cast shadows .
Equally valuable over these 2 days were the opportunities for discussions about working practices and preferences. Sandra Grusd (who's work I greatly admire) asked whether I only worked for exhibitions/ competitions or for myself. That got me thinking ! I do find deadlines motivating but on exploring this subject further with Sue over coffee and carrot cake realise that this sometime means making compromises that result in work I'm not so happy with. For instance I love a lot of things about Tunisian Door - particularly use of fabric and colour ,but the composition isn't what I originally intended or hoped for as it grew too big!
I'm worrying a bit about not having done any large pieces since then and even Journal Quilts are proving a bit more of a challenge than usual with the extra 'rule' besides size and shape - can't just make my sample pieces up to the correct size. Mainly tho' it's having too many ideas and not knowing where to start.
So I've decided to concentrate on doors and boats ( both incorporate peeling paint on wood and metal!), going back to using fabric as paint which means that the Weir is off the design wall (sorry Ian!) as it was holding me back. Lets see where it takes me.