Joseph Beuys

Suggested by Colin as being an artist to look at. Most of Joseph Beuys work doesn’t really resonate with me but I had a look at specifically felt work this time , as I will likely use felt in my imaginary tool project.

Felt suit 1970


Viewed 24 September 2020

The article associated with the above image and link states that Joseph Beuys was quoted as talking about felt as a warm sculpture and also looking at the link between everyday objects and art. Colin also mentioned that some of Joseph Beuys work was associated with healing and I can certainly feel the link between felt and healing and care. It’s part of the reason I use textiles – because of their association with care, protection, comfort and warmth.

Stressing over honours project

Once I know the question I’ll be able to focus on writing up the proposal. I guess what I want to do is make a body of work that is quilts. My criteria really is that I would like to make articles that eventually have the potential to get used up. But I also want to make work that is read as art. Basically I want them to be able to be repurposed as a household article once their time being revered on the wall is done. :). It also gives me something to do with all my art that fails to be recognised as worthy of exhibition. I have my entry in the art quilt show as a bathmat on the floor and I love it. Second year print project quilt is being used as an ironing mat. Lots of my quilts get used as tablecloths and rugs in front of the tv or extra warmth at night. But I’m not content with that. I would like to make artworks that are visual and appreciated as art and not combined with function initially. Function is my way of recycling art. Because let’s face it. There is a lot of art in the world and unless we start making it a bit ephemeral it will visually choke us. That is already happening with all the visual imagery that bombards us everyday.

So maybe my question should be ‘what is the extent and nature of the barriers to quilts being viewed as art, and exploring the artists pushing against those barriers’. The question sounds a bit clunky but maybe it’s a start.

Sue de Vanny didn’t get in to the Archibald with her mixed media painting. Not sure that it really is a quilt but I have written to ask her and see if she has tried to enter any quilts in art prizes.

Viewed 19 September 2020

Reference above looks a bit dodgy so I’ll tell you this is a screen shot from Sue De Vanny’s Post to Studio Art Quilt Associates facebook page. It is detail of her portrait of quilter Jenny Bowker.


Christian Schad did photograms of everyday objects and discarded items to create photograms which he presented cut to an irregular shape on a plain background.

Modernist painter and printmaker associated with Dada movement

<; Viewed 19 September 2020

This is a gelatin silver chloride photogram using dust and shoelace.

Photograms give new life to everyday objects and encourage you to look at previously unnoticed aspects of the everyday. Add mystery to the banal.

The blurb from Art Institute of Chicago talks about “ennobling lowly materials.”

Adam Fuss: Photograms

This information is from an exhibition brochure from 1992.


Tannebaum B (Curator and writer of text in the brochure) 1992, Adam Fuss: Photograms, Akron Art Museum, Ohio

Image references – Robert Miller Gallery, New York

Brochure design Bruce Morrill


Christian Schad used photograms in 1918 for art around objects – need to look him up.

“Photogram is a conveyor of literal fact” but then author then asserts that Adam Fuss has gone beyond that.

Adam Fuss has created the photograms in this exhibition by hanging a light, swinging in a circle over and using coloured filter swinging over coloured paper.

A little bit similar to how I was thinking of creating a wind generated dyeing machine for sculpture and possibly to use. But I could also use light to draw. I would need something that slowly unveiled the work to the light rather than slowly exposing, or I could slowly expose with a uv torch I guess but slow exposing would take a lot of imagination to set up a way of moving the torch.

The photograms are large and evoke a sense of the sublime, colour and suggestion of the universe and orbits. Tannebaum speaks of a sense of mystery, spirituality and references mandalas.

I am using the circle in my painting work but more in its function as a barrier rather than as a spiritual reference, but it will read a bit like a mandala too.

Untitled, 1992 (AF#N92) From back cover of the brochure.

Troy Colby Viewed 18 September 2018

This photo just came up in my lenscratch email and I find it quite an arresting photo. Thought I’d just do a quick analysis of why.

Colour – black and white suggests memory to me and also highlights the forms, tones and contrast without being influenced by colour.

Blurred – an air of mystery and ambuigity. Need to look hard to see what you are looking at.

Layered appearance – again helps with the ambuigity but also adds some depth. Originally thought it might be through glass but now I’m thinking a mirror.

Watery/Steam appearance – suggests a bathroom, an intimate space so adds to the intense personal feel of the photo.

Line – horizontal through the middle which highlights the boy and is also reflected in the line of steam. It suggests that the boy has wiped this at his height.

An annoying slight discomfort from the contrast of a naked child and clothed adult. Unfortunately this is probably more a sign of the times and I think this takes away from the family intimacy of the photo, where we are told this is a father and his son. Can’t avoid it now which I think is a shame.

Project two planning

Rather than self portrait, this project looks outward and is about place and your feelings or connections related to this.

My initial plan is around home. Fits with lots of my work that includes mundane objects.

Initial take was just to design a landscape of objects- interior landscape.

Whilst this looks quite interesting I think that they are a bit boring arranged like this.

I then thought that maybe I will explore arrangements that suggest contriction by the mundane objects in this time when so much of the outside world is shut off from us.

I printed this and took it in to discuss with Yvette. I think a circle works as both a barrier constricting movement but also a protective symbol like a hug.

My plan would be to have the objects forming an intact ring by cutting them as wedges. Maybe 12 wedges which would mean a 30 degree angle with a blunt bottom. We discussed what should go in the centre. I just picked this piece of fabric because it had quite a contained centre but Yvette points out that what will be in there will garner attention and need to be meaningful. I guess the circle is me, both contained and protected by the everyday objects of the home.

Yvette also pointed out the objects I have chosen also contain liquid and that the background here could be read as a stain spreading out and beyond the barrier. Really for my idea the stain should be seeping in from the outside, breaching the imperfect barrier of the mundane home objects. Yvette also mentioned blood – my favourite colour. She talked about the low immersion dyeing looking bodily and perhaps being distracting in the centre.

I am now considering whether I should have a solid centre perhaps dyed red, and then have the stain spreading out under the objects to partially reach the outside. Maybe ditch the low immersion dyeing which does give quite a suggestion of form to me too – often it reminds me of galaxies. Or I could use it to represent the world outside the home and just keep the central dyeing solid colour. It’s good to have lots of readings. I will need to dye some and test them out.

Another thought would be to use overdyed patterned fabric for the outside. Something nice like a floral with a small pattern. I’m not sure about the stain spreading out on to this. It’s an interesting idea but perhaps not right for this. I would love to repurpose a nice floral quilting fabric by overdyeing with the pall of fear of coranavirus. Perhaps my old blood colour. And perhaps the central bit could be dyed the pink of vulnerable flesh. If the balance of sizes was better I could still exploit the fleshy look of low immersion dyeing in the centre. Especially if I kept the tonal range very minimal. Like the colours that I created today in class for skin tones – dull pale yellow and dull pale pink. That would work with the strength of the solar fast colour in the objects.

Excited to get going with printing, dyeing and exploring my stash for the right stuff.

Group Crit Photography

Had the group crit today and it went quite well. Very interesting seeing people’s work.

Martin liked the delicacy and ambiguity of the pinhole printed direct on to fabric.

I could probably bring it up and redo pinhole to make delicate raw silk photos like this and maybe I will try.

I prefer this print which is done with a transparency on cotton sateen. I even think that the way the solarfast was applied adds a distress to the image.

Martin liked the juxtaposition of these two images. He felt like the above image gave some context to the lower image. I don’t want to just use digital imagery though even though it is a digital submission. So he suggested maybe printing the top one on fabric too. I won’t get the rich black though. It would be good in cyanotype which is high contrast. I’ll try that first. I think I’ll use the overlays as my final work but combine it with positives of the overlay.

Fly on the left is a cyanotype negative and then an avocado solar fast positive followed by bleaching with washing powder (overdone) and then reestablished image with tea bags. I’m not sure why the photos are not as vivid as the original photo. They changed when I moved them on to a canvas to arrange as two. Not sure why. PS said something about photos being a different depth?

Clarissa Callesen

This is a sculpture artist who works with found fabrics and thread. I saw her on stitch club and it gave me some ideas about what sort of thing I could do for my moving sculpture. I’m thing about doing soft hanging rods a bit like these that would make a work called Silenced. It would be the sculptural form of wind chimes but soft made of fabric so that they didn’t make any noise. Could reference hanging and choking by having part of the rod tightened as if around the neck. Done in shades of brown.

<; Viewed 15 September 2020


I have gone ahead and made my sculpture inspired by the techniques of Clarissa Callesen. It’s only a rough job called Silenced. It was much easier to combine fabric and thread into sculptural form that I expected. I’m going to leave it hanging in the garden now and let the iron wire rust.

Overlay photos and photograms

Used these two photos inverted and then printed individually on fabric with solarfast.

Need to start assembling a powerpoint to upload for my presentation next week.

Will show pinholes, these photogram combos and I’m doing some sunlight on photopaper photograms. Not sure what that is called, maybe lumigraphs or something like that. As the only person who reads my blog Carolyn maybe you know what I’m talking about – the year long pinhole photo done on paper in a tin that they didn’t develop but gave a sort of pinky blue photo of the movement of the sun that then needs to be scanned to preserve.

Lomography-Justin Quinnell-that’s who I was thinking of.

Solargraphy he seems to call it

Betty Busby

Betty is a quilt artist that I’ve admired for a long time. I just watched a video from Lisa Walton that explained how Betty gets such fine raw edge detail.

Her shapes are cut using a silhouette cutter and non woven fabric.

I’d like to do raw edges applique with non woven but I don’t like to use synthetic. Felt is a non woven so maybe I could make my own fine wool/silk felt that I used to sew into.

Entropy, 60 x 40 inches

<> Viewed 7 September 2020

Her non woven is painted prior to being fused to a background and then stitched. A lot of what reads as small appliqued pieces are actually holes through the fused non woven that reveal the background.

A similar effect might be achievable by preparing a background work and then using a stencil to mask out a pattern/imagery and use solarfast, rather than printing a foreground with solar fast. This is a bit similar to what I have sort of done with the current layered photo.

Sculptural work:

Snowbound 62 x 15 inches

<> Viewed 7 September 2020

Wondering if I can incorporate textile or quilt work into my final tool sculpture. Don’t want to waste a lot of time making something that I will not pursue in sculpture but happy to try and see if sculptural forms add something to my work, or increase the range of imagery I can create.