Thursday 17 July 2014

Dislocation Dejection

I was rather disappointed not to have my entry' Hidden Fractures'  selected for the CQ 'Dislocation' challenge to be exhibited at the  Festival of quilts but with 79 submitted and space for only 44, and an incredibly diverse selection ( see the website here), the judges had a  tough job!  My quilt was also difficult to photograph well being so dark and with a  floating organza layer which gave almost a 3d effect, much  more intriguing in the flesh. With more and more quilt exhibition juried by photo it leaves me with a dilemma . This quilt was an experiment, trying out new techniques and effects  and I'm increasingly using indigo fabrics where the colours and tones are subtle and often difficult to get good photographs. With juried exhibitions selecting from photos looking for impact, do I  really want to make work specifically that  will photograph well at the expense of working to my own criteria?
Anyway  a bit  about the quilt. It was  inspired by marks on cloth: this piece of cloth from bought from Jo Lovelock, and  a piece of my own  indigo arashi shibori  dyed brown silk organza.  Searching the internet for photos linked with dislocation brought up various MRI  scans and X-rays of dislocated bones which these fabrics reminded me of. A few years ago I had a 'mallet injury' of my left hand pinkie  and  had a sneaky look at my x-rays  on the way between hospitals.   It was a very peculiar angle and required splinted strapping for 6 weeks. I briefly considered that as a quilt but decided on something more abstract related to it.

I cut up the fabric and rearranged it  and after a bit of a search managed to track down the right colour of blue threads to machine stitch with
Once  quilted ( I particularly liked the 12wt Wonderfil ) I  took photos of  the 4 different permutations of the indigo organza over the top, spending quite a while deciding which I liked best.

Deciding how to 'float' the organza over the top was quite a challenge - I tried samples with machine stitching the edges or raw and then  decided on hand rolling ( I used to be quite an expert when I made my own scarves from yardage) - time consuming given I was running against a tight deadline  but I'm getting to be a bit of a perfectionist. And then I had  to work out how to attach it by stitching it into the facing ( the bottom took 3 attempts, 1 too loose, 1 too tight!)
Artist Statement:

Inspired by accidental marks on cloth reminiscent of bone fractures and dislocations revealed through X-rays and MRI scans.
Even with modern scanning techniques, detection depends on the experience and interpretation of the viewer.

Tray-dyed cotton sateen fabric dyed by Jo Lovelock cut up and reassembled, machine stitched with 12wt and 40wt cotton threads. Floating top layer of silk organza with hand-rolled hems, attached at top and bottom, hand-dyed with indigo using arashi shibori.


Olga Norris said...

Mags, commiserations. It is all very well when one rationalises it all, but it still hurts. I so agree with what you say about photographs. I do think that there should be more photos of work than the one whole and one detail. I believe that the serious exhibitions should ask for five photographs. There are so many interesting textile pieces these days that just are not appreciated in restrictive two dimensions.
Your piece sounds really interesting.

Uta Lenk said...

I can't believe that this wonderful quilt was not chosen! But it happens to the best of us. You could have given it a few more chances in other calls before posting about it on the blog. Perhaps it would have made it into Quilt National!

magsramsay said...

Thanks Uta ! I did consider Quilt National but as they're also jurying from photos... Also it's already been posted on the CQ challenge website

Felicity said...

Oh Mags I have been through this dilemma and there is something really soul-destroying about trying to second-guess a)quilt and art show juries and b) the art-buying public.

My advice is to stay true to yourself or you run the risk of stifling your creativity. It was hard realisation to come to but I have felt much freer since I decided to do that.

Olga Norris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggi said...

Love the piece and it's a pity it didn't get in. Maybe it wasn't the photography as often quilts are juried in to shows because they provide a cohesive exhibition.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks for the link to submissions. Truly a fascinating group of quilts to a theme and yes, hard to whittle down. I do think quilts using sheers, especially one where the sheer hangs free, often lose out in photo juroring. You just can't capture what's going on and I doubt the juror realizes what's being depicted. Should you change the direction your art is moving to ensure better consideration in exhibits? I'd say no, but it all depends on what's more important to you, of course.

Quilt or Dye said...

Sorry it did not make it in the show. I like it.