Adding some extra context to the proposal. Toby mentioned adding in textile forms more generally. I assume he meant not just quilts.
This work is sort of quilt-like but ticks a number of boxes visually but also thematically.
arrhythmia 2014, 206 cm x 168 cm x 10 cm by Chung-Im Kim
Zilber E 2015, crafted:objects in flux, MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA, pp 78-81
Chung-Im Kim has created this textile object using printed felt. It appears in book called crafted: objects in flux by Emily Zilber (2015). This book highlights artists who work at the boundary of art and craft and use both traditional and cutting edge craft techniques to create their work. In this case Kim has manipulated imagery from her own echocardiograph and then printed this on felt and irregularly assembled the prints into a whole that reflects the disorganisation of an irregular heart rhythm. This use of personal imagery of a detail of the artist’s life elicits the type of connection with the viewer to which I aspire.
Main elements that I would like to include are fabric as substrate, cyanotype and solarfast as medium via alternative photography, quilts as presentation format. So that just leaves topic – small personal stories or details.
Reasons for fabric – comfort, intimate, suitable for small personal narratives, accessible, resilient
Reasons for cyanotype/solarfast – ability to transfer detail to fabric. Direct marking process that nonetheless also incorporates serendipity. Has the ability to transform the everyday and also be manipulated by interaction with everyday materials.
Topic – Small personal stories or details – sometimes painful – evoke emotion but also recognition in the viewer and through this a connection.
Quilt as presentation – Accessible and both symbolic of comfort and capable of providing physical comfort. Also with a long history of narrative and insight into details of life. Resilient and flexible in that it can be enjoyed in a number of scenarios – as functional object as well as art.
At this stage I would like to keep options open to be considered for Research (Studio) stream.
I would be happy with a placement within Printmaking or Drawing but would probably lean towards Printmaking. I would also be involving Photography but I did not go through to third year with Photography.
Outline of Project:
My intention is to create a body of work in quilt format. This work would give insights into personal stories and details using the media of light sensitive dyes and alternative photography techniques on the substrate of fabric. I will expand on previous work with photograms of objects and intimate pinhole photographs, to create works that are intended to connect with the viewer on an emotive, visceral level. They will reveal small personal stories or intimate details of life and my hope is that this will create a feeling of connection and recognition for the viewer.
For this project I will continue my experimentation with alternative photographic techniques and their application to printing imagery on fabric. I will use objects to make direct photograms on fabric or photograms on photographic paper which is then transferred to fabric using the intermediary of a transparency. Similarly I am interested in pinhole photography and the transfer of this imagery to fabric. Both of these techniques are quite direct processes in that they apply only light to a surface over time without a lens, and in this way create an image more directly related to the environment both temporally and physically.
Finally the work will be assembled in quilt format, to increase accessibility, intimacy and a tactile dimension to the work. There is also the option here to add further mark making in the form of stitch.
I am hoping that this project will define and focus work I have been doing with textiles over the last few years. I am interested in the personal in regard to quilts and would like to investigate means of making connection with the viewer, in that there is recognition of their own stories in mine. Working in this way around personal stories also links well with my interest in the power of artistic work to heal. A lot of my personal themes are sad in a small way, but the creation process itself is meditative and soothing. My plan to use cyanotype flows first from the search for permanent dye that could be used to print imagery on fabric in a resilient and detailed way. I have since discovered that there are multiple additional ways that cyanotype images can be manipulated on the fabric to further infuse meaning into the work. Using fabric as my substrate has been a long term goal, in keeping with my initial motivation towards art education which was to learn to print on fabric to use in quilts, when I enrolled in TasTafe in 2013. Quilts remain a medium that evokes comfort and intimacy, but are also very resilient, tactile, and even functional if desired.
These works are roughly chronological since 2018 and I hope show some evolution towards the type of work I plan for Honours and the elements I would like to include.
Quilt companions: Presenting quilts as art but also acknowledging the extra tactile dimension and history. Using quilts to connect and say something personal.
Thomas Knauer, Joseph Cunningham, Casey York.
Alternative photography companions: Using more direct methods to use the light around us to produce imagery over time. Experimenting with ways of creating hands-on personal imagery.
Mike Ware, Ellie Young,
Thematic companions: Personal and intimate glimpses of another’s life. Emotive.
Don’t have anyone for this yet, but I guess really I should be looking for artists bringing all three together
Quilt and alternative photography: Sandra Sider
My project draws on elements of the techniques of quilting and of alternative photography and thematically is associated with the everyday, memory, emotion and the personal with a view to evoking feelings of recognition and connection in the viewer.
I have been drawn back to the quilt format by the work of Thomas Knauer, who has written a book ‘Why we Quilt: Contemporary Makers Speak Out”. His work does not relate to mine thematically, in that he creates quilts often with a political message. He does however move the quilt off the bed, and more into the art sphere, whilst still using traditional and more contemporary quilting techniques. Others in this book such as Joe Cunningham and Casey York, are also using quilting as their medium to create art, that they relate back to elements in art history. These artists seek to convey meaning through quilts and evoke feelings through work that moves beyond a decorative design.
Reference: Knauer T 2019, Why We Quilt, Storey Publishing, USA
Alternative photography :
Both Mike Ware and Christopher James have worked extensively with alternative photographic processes and explored the chemistry of cyanotype in depth. I would like to look at just the one little corner that encompasses cyanotype and Solarfast printing on fabric and research this in depth in relation to different effects that can be achieved with the basic chemicals and their interactions with other domestic chemicals. Lots of information to help and inspire me can be found in Christopher James’ book – The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes.
Reference: James C 2016, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, Cengage Learning, Boston,MA, USA
Pinholes and photograms:
Eric Renner has produced evocative and exciting pinhole photographs in many cases using found materials or domestic objects to make his cameras. Sadly he has died this year but thankfully his work lives on in his book, ‘Pinhole Photography: Rediscovering a Historic Technique.
Reference: Renner E 1995, Pinhole Photography: Rediscovering a Historic Technique, Focal Press, Newton, MA, USA
Justin Quinnell’s photograph created on a paper negative in a tin can over 6 months has stayed with me in its simplicity and sense of time passing. He continues to push the envelope of pinhole photography and provide ongoing inspiration in pinhole image making.
As far as the thematic of small personal and emotive stories that evoke recognition and connection, I am struggling a bit with this to find artists with this context.
Studio Art Quilt Associates is a global organisation for the promotion of art quilts, of which I am a member. There are many artists as members here that I can work alongside to create evocative quilts with meaning
Similarly OzQuilt Network is an Australian art quilting group to which I belong. Artists like Neroli Henderson are raising the profile of quilting as art and creating evocative works.
Penny Gold’s Self-portraitYear 2: Beneath the Surface, shown at QuiltCon in 2015, is an example of the type of emotive work I seek. My work would not be as purely conceptual as this, and not as intensely emotive but my recognition in this work, of the need to confess and the muddying of your identity with your child’s, connects me to the artist and resonates with me and the type of work I would like to create.
Sandra Sider is bringing cyanotype and quilts together in her ongoing work.
Sandra’s work is the closest in technique and medium to mine although differs thematically.
I feel the context for my work most firmly sits in the realm of the art quilter. I am aware that there is a leaning towards taking a feminist perspective when presenting fabric and stitch works but this is not my interest. Quilts also have a history of political messaging but this too is not what I would be looking at including.
My works will be attempting to convey emotive and personal stories and I feel that the quilt medium with its history of protection and solace, is the one most appropriate for this work.
Planning to enter Distance and Diversity – The SAQA regional exhibition.
Size is 60 cm width x 40 cm.
Thinking about doing 8 cm square blocks with sashing. 6 x 4 landscape.
Will try and illustrate the creation of diversity over time as in evolution.
This is a grayscale scan of my cyantype nautilus shell photogram.
Using this I will try and evolve the image through repetition and other interventions until I have different images.
Will make four evolutionary paths, first column of four will all be the same image, with cyanotype alone and all the cotton sateen fabric. Then I will scan the resultant images and reprint each making an intervention and so on.
This is the first transparency image which will be used for all of the first column of four. Have edited the levels to range from 90-180 leaving the centre at 1.0.
Will be consistent and edited the repeated scans in the same way.
This is the original cyanotype on fabric. I wish I could include this but space doesn’t allow.
The idea is that column one will all be the same and then I’ll gradually introduce interventions in the way mutations occur over time and with repetition. The thing is really that I am documenting corruptions and will likely end up with a lesser final image, as opposed to what I am trying to show which is diversity in a positive light. I really don’t know what will happen so I guess that is part of the fun.
1. Artefact in the repeated scanning and the printing process. This will be equal across the whole work.
2. Type of fabric used. – Cotton sateen, tussah silk, silk wool, raw silk, homespun. Four of these. Probably leave out tussah silk.
3. Colour – think I will add colour in the form of yellow, red, blue but I’ll probably leave the cyanotype too?
Have been working very hard on printing and toning my final works so that they could be then photographed for submission.
I have decided to use cyanotype exclusively and tone with tea and wine to get colour. I was really surprised at the range that resulted and excited to refine this.
I have made 12 diptychs and arranged them in a three by four grid.
The idea is that each image through the window is then matched with an object from inside. The pair are then toned equally with the same tea or wine. Have rushed this a bit at the end and would have liked to have the time to make this into a physical quilt which I will ultimately do.
Need to get my statement done:
Form and composition – more distant outside view pinholes are paired with a close photogram of an inside object. A lot of objects are to some extent related to lockdown which is what I was intending. The views are all from my windows.
Line – I have tried to link the line in the view photo with line in the object but that was a bit difficult.
Colour – muted organic pink/green/brown/blue. Slightly faded appearance hopefully suggesting the faded nature of life experiences at present.
Texture – rough fabric texture, resonating with degradation ?
scale – contrast between full window view and close observation of object.
medium – cyanotype – detailed photo on fabric which also has the potential to be presented in various colours. Able to be toned with everyday materials – bleach with washing powder, tone with tea or wine. Processed in water and vinegar.
Going to try and write statement now.
Tea and Sanitiser
Outside the cherry tree moves in the breeze. Inside a clump of threads stick to my shoe. A wallaby nibbles under the silver birch, a dead fly on the windowsill. Sun streams in the courtyard and flares off the wine glass. Through the front door the cars await. I’ve given up on the sprout jar. The water lies beyond the heat pump. A wasp is stuck in the screen. Our neighbour works in his shed. All the strawberries are finished. A new house is just visible in the distance. Used the carafe for the first time ever. Popcorn.
For this work I combined pinhole photos taken through the windows of the house with photograms of objects that I found around the house, and that had some relevance to time spent at home during lockdown. The window views look into the distance and contrast with the personal view of the objects. I printed both the photograms and pinhole photos on to fabric using cyanotype chemicals. Pinhole photos are high contrast and when combined with cyanotype give a stark desolate image. Toning with household materials, washing powder, tea, wine, has muted the harsh blue but kept the lonely mood and added a faded component to speak of the passage of time. The slightly rough texture of the fabric is visible and reinforces the domestic nature of the imagery.
I have been inspired by the quirky pinhole photography of Eric Renner and the work of Mike Ware in pushing the boundaries of cyanotype.
Realised that I haven’t included pinhole artists in my journal. Looked at Eric Renner’s book and love the quirky and exciting pinholes. Definitely inspiring and I have ordered the latest edition. Sad to see that he died earlier this year.
Detail showing the quilting. I have basically ditched the ECG quilting in the centre. Although it is there it is obscured enough to be unrecognisable.
Radial quilting originally referencing the eye has also been repurposed as radial quilting to enhance the dynamic movement of the ring as in a wheel. Ring in further bordered by arrow quilting to the same end. Background quilting is organic wavy to separate this from the foreground wheel.
Step Right Up
Everyday objects are laid out on cloth for enjoyment of their silhouettes and detail. Spin the wheel and choose which colourful element to explore. A personal history awaits. A hairclip bought in Melbourne, the perplexing gift of a carafe, a shell washed up on a North East Coast beach. In lieu of travel in the wider world, excitement and discovery awaits on a domestic scale. Light reveals unseen detail and colourful shapes, bending around wine or blocked by a spoon. Distortion disguises the perfume bottle and multiple shadows confuse the teapot. Look inside the pincushion or deconstruct the light bulb. Find the ghost in the vodka bottle whilst avoiding the teeth of the scissors. Follow the path of the stones and see deep into the crystal. Feel the ripples of the shell and the soft curve of the glass. Step right up.
The home has become haven, prison and playground this year. For this work I have taken everyday objects from around my home and used cyanotype and solarfast light sensitive dye to create photograms of these objects. It is a somewhat serendipitous process, with the chemical vagaries and the path of the light contributing to an unpredictable result. The objects have then been arranged in a circle referencing a tablecloth, a spinning prize wheel or even a circus tent. The bright colours give the work a playful mood, and on closer examination the objects reveal surprising detail to explore. Movement is suggested by diagonal lines and dynamic colour contrasts. Radial quilting lines reference a wheel and are even more bluntly sewn in an arrow configuration around the outside. The background is pushed back with organic quilting to separate it from the circle. An alternate view of the life-sized objects is presented as terrain open to exploration in this restricted time. Fabric is used for its tactile and inviting properties in a lively quilt.
For this work I have been inspired by the colourful organic quilts of Betty Busby and the photograms of Adam Fuss.
Given that looking like an eye seemed to be the consensus at my feedback I’ve decided to embrace it with the quilting pattern. Here I have used the ECG pattern in the middle and echoed that. Made quite an interesting pattern but looks a bit floral.
Then I quilted the images with a vertical radiating pattern. Here I was thinking about an eye iris and the way it has radial ridges . I used dark thread from the middle and then green thread from the outside because I have green eyes 🙂
Beyond this I have also started a random stipple and around the outside in red/brown on the top and green underneath.
My original statement is not going to work here.
Try to make an objective analysis about what it looks like:
Form – overall – circular arrangement of imagery of objects from around the house ( I have shifted them to objects that are not disposable – they may not be valuable but they are things I have chosen to keep because of function or sentiment. ) Centre is plain overdyed commercial fabric with a close pattern. Outside is dyed commercial fabric patchy red and green.
When I look at this form I see an aerial view of a table with objects. The centre comes forward rather than receding like a pupil. Maybe others might still see an eye because I didn’t see it before either. Definitely looks like a laying out of objects to me. Probably this effect is increased by the presence of the cutlery.
Photographic type imagery, ethereal, detailed.
Or Wheel of Fortune – also has that appearance. Or circus.
Line – Radiating lines from the centre. Circular lines in the centre. Irregular wiggly quilting lines around the outside. Has the effect of separating into three segments – the ring, the centre and the background. Also suggests movement in a spiral, as though the objects could spin.
Colour – Bright, rich, high colour contrast, high contrast imagery. Not ominous or prison like, not confined or sad. Not really containing either.
Texture – ripples around the centre, floral pattern in the middle, can’t see that it is an ecg line, irregular texture in the background. but basically flattened by the all over quilting.
Scale – Roughly 1200 mm square. Objects are life size. Again fits with the table top.
Medium – fabric, soft, washable, tablecloth.
Problem is that I’m happy with this work but I’m not sure what it says. Not my usual miserable themes. It was planned to be miserable but it just doesn’t look it. The jewel tones of the colours are pleasurable to look at. The detail of the imagery is interesting and personal but not sad. Yvette did mention perhaps consciously going against the miserable.
Personal everyday objects sourced from around the home laid as if on a table. In the photographic type silhouettes previously unseen detail is present. The objects have history – the hair clip bought in Melbourne, shell from a far north east beach long ago, carafe that was a perplexing gift. Objects selected from around the house for their imagined silhouettes and then the thrill of allowing light to reveal the previously unseen detail in their shadows. Personal and familiar. Finding a way for a restricted environment to still be a journey of discovery.
Going off at a tangent now that is not saying much about how I feel about an environment, which was the brief. Guess the environment has to be home here.
I wanted to say that home was both a sanctuary and a prison currently but this work is not saying that. What is it saying? – Hey look at how pretty the random objects can be. Weird question mark font ?????
Looking inward to the home rather that outward.
Maybe still would work for home as sanctuary in this current time.
Study objects with your eyes. Alternate view, unseen detail. Looking inward for beauty, finding pleasure in the detail. Contraction of the local environment, expansion of time. Exploring closer to home.
Celebration of beauty in the everyday. Excitement at the potential of the most mundane of objects. Exploring what has become the most important of environments – home. Seeing with fresh eyes. A trip around the kitchen bench. An exploration of objects that will fit into a 5 x 12 inch wedge.
Maybe something a bit lighthearted like a circus, spinning wheel, Not sure how to comment on texture or line with this. Maybe not all formal elements need to be accounted for directly. What about the choice of fabric. Referencing a table cloth in some way? Playful. Describing the home as playground in this time.
Step right up
Everyday objects are laid out on cloth for enjoyment of their silhouettes and detail. Spin the wheel and choose which colourful element to explore. A personal history awaits. A hairclip bought in Melbourne, the perplexing gift of a carafe, a shell washed up on a north east coast beach. In lieu of travel in the wider world, excitement and discovery awaits on a domestic scale. Light reveals unseen detail and colourful shapes, bending around wine or blocked by a spoon. Distortion disguises the perfume bottle and multiple shadows confuse the teapot. Look inside the pincushion or deconstruct the light bulb. Find the ghost in the vodka bottle whilst avoiding the teeth of the scissors. Follow the path of the stones and see deep into the crystal. Feel the ripples of the shell and the soft curve of the glass.
I have now quilted a grid over the whole quilt by machine. On the practical side it serves to hold the imagery in place and take away the distraction of loose fabric. On the aesthetic side, I was hoping that it would add a layer of resilience and unity to the face images. Not sure that it does that well. Think is looks more like a cage. Perhaps I will need to adapt what I say to suit.
Original statement – On and On
Twenty eight years of care, concern and anxiety have unveiled a previously unrecognised resilience. Repetitive life size silhouettes of the face are stained and cobbled together but the ongoing set of the jaw is visible, clenched both in worry and concentration. Reds, browns and purples bruise the repetitive blocks in various degrees. Looking back whilst time relentlessly moves forward and the metallic grey grid of resilience holds all together, and drags everything on into the future. The soft medium of a quilt reflects care and comfort but also retains a strength and ability to face most onslaughts, in a way not seen in many other mediums. Wash, repair, hug and keep going.
Will try and analyse this one too:
Form – Silhouette of face – personal intimate close up view. Made by pressing face to photographic paper
Composition – Repetition across the work with subtle changes. Unfinished bottom edge and jarring single blank block towards top right. – Reads from left to right with repetition suggesting a continuation. Irregular bottom meant to suggest more to come, as does title
Twenty-eight years of care, concern and anxiety have unveiled a previously unrecognised resilience. Repetitive life size silhouettes, created by an intimate, direct contact process, move across the work in an incomplete grid. The set of the jaw is visible, clenched in worry and concentration. The faces are stained and bruised in subdued reds, browns and purples. Looking backwards while time moves on, encased together. Stitched into a work of soft toughness. Able to square up against most onslaughts, repair and keep going.
I have attempted to create a work that illustrates perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity. The work is personal and created by a process whereby my face is pressed against photographic paper and exposed to create a photogram. This photogram is then translated into an acetate negative which is used to print repeated images on fabric with solarfast dye exposed to light. I have tried to incorporate the muted colours of flesh and damage, and allowed extra dye and artefact to stain the faces, as the self is damaged and stained. The work has then been assembled into a grid, which has one block for each year of my son’s life to date. The final row is left short, leaving space for continuation. One block is left blank but heavily stitched, as a stand in for the unseen resilience which underpins the situation. The faces look backward whilst the blocks move on, read from left to right. Finally, stitching is added to encase the faces as one, to suggest unity rather than fragmentation. The quilt medium is chosen for its own innate resilience, ability to give comfort, and for its receptiveness to mending and endurance.
For this work I have taken inspiration from the quilt works of Thomas Knauer, who uses relatively simple quilt blocks to convey a powerful message and Ruth Madison who has created an intimate photogram portrait of her head.
I keep on going with trying new things but not sure how best to arrange.
I’m really not sure that I enjoy the overlays. To some extent it’s two good photos spoiled.
Wondering now about pairing an inside thing like an insect or bottom of wine glass or sanitiser photogram with a pinhole through the window photo without the overlay.
Would look something like this but done in most likely cyanotype. Outside pic could be cyanotype and inside maybe coloured solarfast. Although I am really wondering whether to ditch all the solarfast for this project and just do cyanotype because it gives better imagery. Like Gerrard says it’s cleaner.
If I was to do this though, how would the whole quilt be arranged? Nine diptychs would look very landscape
Could do three by six diptychs and that would be a square 🙂 Of course that is 36 prints. 72 inch square quilt with no sashing. So that is actually alright but a lot of work in a week. At least I wouldn’t actually have to sew it. Could do that later.
Still trying to work out what photosensitive chemical best. Cyanotype or solarfast.
Here I have bleached cyanotype with washing powder – tried to control the amount and then I have used one tea bag only to tone the print. Definitely warms it up but it is not as pink as that looks. Other options are a harder bleach and tannin which will give a brown and white print.
I could do my wine glasses/flies etc in the same toning or I could use solarfast with muted colour. i could use red wine for some of the tannin toning and maybe I could also use different teas. Manipulating the colour with home materials like washing powder, tea and wine seems like a good plan. Also could use vinegar and peroxide. Perhaps I should look for a cyanotype artist and research toning a bit more. So far I’m just using what I learned at the two day workshop at Gold St Studios a couple of years ago. I did Van Dyke brown while I was there too and do have chemical for that. They can also mix with cyanotype. Trouble is it’s all a bit late for that now but something to consider in Honours.
Here I have paired the fly with the outside scene. I have dulled down the fly because it’s too bright green solarfast but I can repeat the print and treat it the same as the left hand print to more completely match colour. This is the sort of pairing of imagery I imaged but not necessarily these too as a pair. It’s late to add this much work but I think I can do it. With the objects I can flip around and reverse if I like I can also use scans of small objects which give amazing detail. Could also still do some small object lumens. Have time for that.
Just mocked this up in photoshop from a negative to show another example. Will have to flip around configuration to stop me having a column of outside and a column of inside.
Obviously not using the same photos but this would have to be the arrangement 3 diptychs across and 6 down.
Spider,S (editor) 2018, Art Quilts Unfolding, Schiffer Publishing, USA , p 9
Jean Ray Laury created this quilt in 1956 as part of her Masters Degree in Art at Stanford University.
Interestingly it is familiar interesting objects arranged haphazardly a bit similar in composition to work I have done. 1956 is amazing for a quilt in a masters of art. Wonder how she went. Mentioned in the book as early work in art quilt genre.