Friday, May 02, 2008

It's May already

I feel as if I haven't posted in months, but it's only been 2 weeks. That's bad enough. Yesterday I finally got back onto my sewing machine and I know I haven't done that for a month. Trying to account for my time I come up with a weekend retreat, the SDA/SAQA Conference and Workshop, a trip to Chicago, a fair amount of time trying to solve a technical problem for my current quilt, and an inordinate amount of time working on my web page. I have changed the look but the major work was in cleaning up the underlying code. There was a lot of useless and conflicting junk in there. I know enough about programming to make myself eternally frustrated.

Anyhow, in the course of my time in Chicago, where I spent several hours volunteering in the SAQA booth at the IQA show, I volunteered to become the SAQA area co-rep for my area. I know I have had some less than complimentary works about SAQA in the past, but in the past few years they have really gotten their act together. And I think that it's not right to continually complain about something and not do anything about it. So I could quit or I could volunteer. One of my complaints has been that in my area we never heard from our rep. So my goal is to be the kind of rep that I would have liked to have had.

I solved the technical problem on my current work, got it sandwiched and pinned, and started quilting on it yesterday. Ouch, my shoulders hurt today. I guess that month off was enough to get out of quilting shape.

Tomorrow is the Public Forum for the Critics' Residency Program that I'm in at the Maryland Art Place. You can see several of my pieces in the picture of the gallery. I received a list of discussion questions so that I can think about what to respond.

A few of the questions: "What is the role of titles in your work? Are they a necessary evil or do they anchor and frame your work in essential ways?" For me, titles are usually an afterthought. Since my work is abstract, the title may or may not impart a meaning. I tried numbering the series for a (short) while, but discovered that I needed actual names in order to keep track of what was what in my head. I have a database in which I keep all the pertinent information about a piece, but there isn't a picture attached. Even so, when I look at my list of quilts and try to figure out what's available to enter and what might be appropriate, a list of numbers just doesn't work very well.

The moderator wants to ask about the issue of figuration vs abstraction. The actual question: "is there an opposition between figuration and abstraction in terms of the philosophy each implies or do you see that as an old and irrelevant argument?" Somebody is going to have to first interpret the question for me, I think. Why do I do abstract work? I've never been really taken with people, especially faces, done in fabric. (Although I can't make that a hard and fast observation, because I have seen fabricated figures that I really like.) It seems that many fiber artists who do that strive for an exactness that is difficult to achieve with discrete pieces of fabric. The goal seems to be how close to a photographic image can they get. Doing that doesn't appeal to me at all and so perhaps my involvement with abstraction is partially the result of the medium in which I'm working. And also the fact that I don't draw very well.

And the last question: "Do you feel any loyalty to a particular esthetic, lineage, or medium?" Yup. My medium is fabric and thread.


Karoda said...

The Residency Circle sounds very interesting...please blog about the discussion that took place.

I hope to rejoin SAQA this year although the members in my state didn't seem very active...maybe its changed by now.

Rayna said...

Nice comments from the critics on your work, Cathy. And don't I wish we had a similar forum in NJ! Very interesting, indeed.