Thursday, April 19, 2012
Isn't There Room for Everyone?
I have strong opinions. I can be as catty as the next person and probably better than most. However, I don't get it when it comes to creating quilts. Over the years, I have listened to so many people express the opinion that a "real" quilt can only be done by hand. Lately, people have been talking disparagingly about the Modern Quilt movement on the QuiltArt list. Other people feel that art quilts can only be made with hand dyed fabric making those who use commercially manufactured fabrics feel they need to justify their choice. Are these comment so that we can feel superior? How does this help the cause?
I have a cartoon in my studio by J.C. Duffy who creates the syndicated comic strip "The Fusco Brothers" and has written and had comics in The New Yorker. Anyway, in the comic a guy is talking to a woman in a bar and he says, "Actually, I went into the comics because I wanted to be a part of one of the three uniquely American art forms- the other two being jazz and quilting...I didn't have the ear for jazz, and I didn't have the stomach for the dog-eat-dog, back-stabbing rat race of quilting."
Physicist David Bohm, in his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, say that despite the apparent separateness of things, everything in the universe is a seamless extension of everything else. This doesn't mean that we are not unique individuals. Rather, we are like the separate whirlpools and eddies that form into a river, each distinct from every other, each whirling at a different, at a different angle--but all part of the same river.
So I would like to live in a world where everyone's creativity is embraced. You want to recreate Civil War quilts, go for it! You want to make art quilts with your own designs, go for it! Take classes, go for it! Study at home, go for it! And so on... I don't have to like it all but I do want it out there because in my mind, it's all good. It keeps the art of quiltmaking alive and we are all part of the same river. Now I'll get off my soapbox and go finish a quilt.