Friday, 24 August 2012

Judges Comments

I collected my FoQ quilts from Islington yesterday  but unfortunately wasn't strong willed enough to throw the judges comments straight in the bin!
I knew from 2009 that the 'Guild Challenge' is indeed a challenge for those of us that make art quilts as it is  an open category based on theme and  so can include anything along the traditional to art quilt spectrum . While judges of art quilts usually have an appreciation of the techniques involved in traditional quilts, the reverse isn't always the case. If  the judging I received of  of my piece this year is typical,  then I fear the winner may sometimes be a compromise.
I was thrilled to receive 'excellent ' across the board from one judge, and a mixture of excellent and good from another. However the 3rd judged  my piece satisfactory with some very condescending remarks  saying I shouldn't  use  dark thread on light fabric ( above). Talk about the quilt police!!Well excuse me but I've observed , drawn and painted a lot of waves and dark lines on light are common as is light on dark. It was a conscious design choice not a mistake. Don't suppose she liked my huge stitches and the way it intentionally puckered the fabric either! Once again I'm wondering whether I will enter the Quild Challenge in the future.

Red Flotsam in the Art Quilt  category had lovely comments from 1 judge (with a mixture of excellent and good). I would  liked to see what the other judge said  but received the comment slip for somebody elses quilt  ( the one below mine which if you saw it was very different!)

I know the judges have a thankless task, doing their best in a very tight timeframe  and I certainly  wouldn't want to be in their shoes. Gillian Cooper has written  about her views on 'Best in Show' which I fully concur with. Perhaps with new management there will be a shake up.


Julie said...

Congratulations on your 'Excellents' Mags. You wonder why, after all the training, some people are judging at all if they can't recognise design and artistic concept. Do enter the competitions though, change will only come if we keep pushing.

I would have liked to have seen your 'Red Flotsam' closer to. As you know I'm on the short side so missed out on seeing the detail. (Vari-focals don't help either). Very annoying to get the wrong comments. Maybe yours will eventually get to you.

annabel said...

I vented my spleen on your link's blog and am now rather squawked out!! However, I did want to comment and say how much I agree and sympathize with you. FB and blogs are littered with similar examples. It's in some ways, the same old same old - it doesn't seem to get better and in fact, it's possibly getting worse.

You should have the right to considered and accurate judging. It's not good enough that the judges "don't have time" They either need to ensure they get more or if that's not possible, alter the way in which the judging is done. There are alternatives after all!

I think your pieces are stunning and truly considered and thought about; executed with care, and finished with finesse. Perhaps you should write and tell some one of your experiences; someone who is in a position to do something about it at TT??

Gillian Cooper said...

How can you be marked down for using light coloured thread on dark fabric? I can't see a problem with this even in traditional quilts. Is there not a trend to make whole cloth quilts using different coloured thread just to highlight the quilting, like Ferret does? Bizarre.
Please don't take the comments to heart and carry on quilting!

Deborah OHare said...

Don't be disheartened. I love your work and would hope to be able to see it at future shows.
Obviously someone needs to take a long hard look at the way we judge art quilts in this country.

Uta Lenk said...

Hi Mag - I had a similar experience when I entered in 2010. It was totally disheartening to read the comments. I don't think the judges' comments should be passed on to the makers, really. I love your pieces - they are wonderful.

Susan Briscoe said...

The third judge's comments are just weird. Does that mean quilters shouldn't use contrasting thread? What planet has this person been living on? Don't stop entering - I love seeing your work.

lisette said...

that is absolutely ridiculous - how patronising!!! i've stopped entering quilt shows as there is a fundamental lack of understanding of what an art quilt encompasses. my comments from FOQ a couple of years ago were of a similar range - one judge marked me down for not finishing the piece "properly" which assume meant she thought i should have put on a binding - which i never do and would wreck the aesthetics of my work