Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FOQ - Gallery - Through the arch

So it appears we will start our tour through the central door of the gallery, the archway. I am sure Jan will be very flattered you picked his door first. Before we go in lets take a look at the quilts to either side of the door. To the Left we have 'In Full Bloom'. I made this quilt for the Celebrate Spring show in Chicago. I think that was my first go at a juried show and this quilt made it in. I was thrilled. The quilt came from spending far too much time at the National Gallery (is that really possible) and falling in love with the impressionist paintings. I hope at some point I will make more quilts in this style.

If you look closely (you can click any of the images to see a bigger version) you can see the whole quilt is made up of 1" squares. This is how I felt I could best represent the sometimes blocky brush strokes. In the detail picture you can see that the quilting is designed to fit the texture of the item being represented, right down to every blossom having a flower in it.

To the other side of the archwayy is 'Radiance'. This is one of the very few quilts I have on display in my house. I don't have much wall space but this fits nicely on one chimney breast. I really aught to get it unpacked and re-hung. It was on display here last year where it was awarded 'Highly Commended'. It is a whole cloth on plain cotton stitched in four shades of purple.
When I was planning the gallery this space was designed as the neutral area. The fulcrum that supported the rest of the gallery. It gives you a great framed view of 'Herd Mentality' on the center of the back wall. This quilt seems to have a fan base all of it's own, and many of them have followed it around America and back home. This is a good point to thank all the ladies at the international quilt festival for getting this back to me so quickly after their last show. I would have been in trouble if it hadn't made it back.

As we go through the arch my sample book quilt is hanging on the right. I had always intended this to end up as the cover quilt, but I was advised against using it. I trust the people who I ask for advice, so it had to make do with just being in the book. One of the perks of having my own gallery was being able to handle the quilts when I needed to and to allow others to do the same. A pair of ladies bought the book on Thursday, went away and read it then came back with a question on Sunday. They were worried the seams would be overly bulky, after feeling this sample they were satisfied there isn't a problem. It was a great feeling. The quilt is inspired but the black and silver fabric. I had decided I would make a sample up in only three fabrics to show it could be done and then this fabric came up and I fell in love. It is a lovely fabric and I like it as the background to this quilt. I had intended to bind the quilt with plain black the same as the outer borders, but I ran out of fabric. So I was forced to use the black and silver again. What a lucky accident it looks much better than black would have done.

The quilt opposite is Tet's first quilt, and you can see him with it here. He was proofreading the book and decided the only way to do it properly was to make the quilt, and on his own. I was banished from my sewing room, my machine commandeered, and my stash raided. I can't complain he turned out a great quilt. It also has a much more exciting back than most of them, even though all of the book quilts are reversible.
If you are lucky enough to catch us at a talk you might be able to get him to sign his quilt in the book too.

Next to Tet's quilt is a very important little quilt. It is a portrait of one of my six cats, this one if called 'Skadi'. She is significant for two reasons. Firstly she was my first award winning quilt. Not only that she won a prize in the first show I entered and she was judged by an artist who makes a lot of stitched animals, and she gave me tips on how to improve my work. It's a very special award. She is also the quilt that started all my pictorial quilts. I made her as part of a Quilt University class with Marilyn Belford. She wasn't initially keen on me doing an animal, the class was for human portraits, but she let me take the class. The skills I learned there have allowed me to make all my other art quilts. I may have evolvesdmy own ways of doing things, but I don't think it would have happened if she hadn't let me do my own thing. This quilt is always one that draws people in, she does look amazingly furry, and it is hard to resist stroking her. The border also fascinates people. Yes it is a printed fabric. Yes I did buy a lot of it, it's fabulous.

Finally in this section we have 'See Sound' it's another one of my older quilts. It's come home this weekend as it was designed specifically to be hung at the Festival of Quilts. It was when I was walking around the Festival one year when it struck me that quilt were missing out at shows. Part of the appeal of a quilt is it's tactile quality, in shows it isn't able to share that. I knew I wanted to give a quilt a new dimension. It had to be something that didn't involve the quilt being touched, and I decided that sound would be a simple thing to use. After all quilters stand in front of quilts and talk. I also wanted to see if I could make a quilt that would talk to more of the men who come to the show. Of the UK shows the Festival is the one with the most men at it. I admire them coming to support their partners, but I've also noticed how wilted they look after a few hours. This quilt worked very well for that too. I saw several men walk around it and then start explaining the circuit to their wives, who then wilted. It was fantastic to watch. The quilt is actually double sided, the back have solder spots and the tracks of the board.

Well that's your lot for today, the new poll is do we turn left or right. Left will take us towards the Phoenix and right would be towards the Dragon. Let me know by voting in the poll to the right of this post. Continue the tour.


Yvonne Morgan said...

I love your virtual tour. Although I saw your display, I didn't get as much time as I would have liked, so this is like having you at my side to describe each piece! I loved the phoenix when I saw him on Saturday, so I'm looking forward to reading all about him soon!

Anonymous said...

Dear Ferret,
I always enjoy your work. I can't wait to show your LED quilt to my husband. Doug is an engineer, and loves it when science and art come together. He's even offered to get me some LEDs if I ever want to experiment!