Saturday, November 01, 2014

Question 2

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well, I suppose, first I have to define my genre.  This is something I have been thinking about more since I added traditional printmaking to the techniques I use.  The end product is textile, however, so I suppose I should still be described as a textile artist.  And yet it is important to me that the work is largely created digitally, from both digitised and originally digital beginnings. 
Every pebble an adventure (161 x 100cm, 2005)
For the purpose of this exercise I shall confirm my genre to be the art quilt, and I have used my earliest art quilts as the images in this post.  I mostly chose the form because it provided an immediate and straightforward way for me to present my visual expressions in a large size.  I find the functionality of being able to pick up and put down the work with hardly any mess to clear up, and the overt links to women's work all attractive attributes of the way I use the form.
Penelope's garden (122 x 114cm, 2006)
How is my work different from other art quilts?  Certainly my work does not come out of traditional pieced quilt making (although this is how I first started making quilts when my figurative work was in acrylic paintings), nor does the stitching derive from the quilting patterns of traditional whole cloth work.  My work is pictorial: it is figurative and narrative.  It is predominantly whole cloth, or is made of a few large straightforwardly pieced elements.  The fabric is digitally printed and then predominantly hand stitched/quilted.  I am more concerned about the visualisation of the idea rather than the specific form it takes - although, of course that form contributes another layer of interpretation.
I am visualising my own ideas and feelings about what is happening in my life and my reactions to what is going on generally.  My thoughts about humanity, about our emotional interactions, our psychology are all depicted as intimate, but I hope referring also to a larger scale - a wider perception.  My aim is to present the narratives as possible inferences.  I want to deal with whatever is going on in my own little world, and at the same time I want to make people think.
No need for words (124.5 x 84cm, 2005)
My figurative imagery is intimate but anonymous.  Facial expressions are too easy to categorise instantly, and I prefer to have the onlooker take time to decide, to see the ambiguity of the body language or of the figure made symbol.  I want each piece to be attractive, but also to intrigue - not simply in a technical way (I wonder how she made that), but to spur thoughts, memories, questions.
Outside (120 x 117cm, 2008)
The two main differences from most other art quilts however I think are that my technical physical construction is simple, and that my construction of the image is by complex digital collage, and the image is printed digitally onto the cloth. 

I will answer Questions 3 and 4 together in the next post.


  1. This really is the best way to do this! Answering all four questions in one go can present the reader with so much to absorb and make the post too long for the medium of the blog. Thank you again, Olga, for participating - in your own unique and very effective way.

  2. Thanks Margaret. Yes, I found that these questions led me to interesting ruminations about where I am, and where I'm going.

  3. I can see how this must have been a rewarding exercise for you, helping you to articulate your practice and maybe think of it in a new way perhaps. I enjoyed seeing images of your early work - I found Outside very interesting.

  4. Thank you, Eirene. Outside is based on my thinking about how scientists and artists occupy different spaces. Artists are excluded by ignorance from the world of scientists, and yet they exclude the scientists.