On and On She Goes

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

Line – Grid – Suggests encasement, unifying

Colour – Muted reds browns purples – bruising, subdued

Texture – grid, soft fabric creases, obviously fabric quilt – a soft resilience combined with comfort.

Scale – Life size faces – intimate process of pressing my face to the work

Medium – soft quilt – says comfort, soft toughness, ability to be mended.

Intimate, repetition, incomplete, encasement, bruised, subdued, soft, comfort, soft toughness, repairable.

On and On She Goes

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.

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