So here’s the gîte where I was generously invited to stay for the night. Picturesque, no.
The calm exterior belies however, the hilarity going on inside. There was much laughing, talking, teasing, laughing, eating, laughing and drinking going on here. I should probably leave it to Sandy or Dijanne to tell all the gory details (however, you’ll have to wait for them to return home and blog). Interesting trivia though: we had five native English speakers in the house, yet none of us were from the same english speaking country. Four of the five also did not live in the country of our births.
After a somewhat slow morning, I headed out to see the exhibits I hadn’t visited the day before. I didn’t take many pictures. Maybe it was because of the hangover. More likely, it was because I have been here twice before and wasn’t feeling the need to record the sights for future reference. I did take lots of reference pictures of the venues as “research” for possible SAQA Europe participation in the future, but that’s not terribly interesting blog fodder. The majority of my other photos are for personal reference only. I soaked a lot in, but even with a blog in mind, I wasn’t in the mood to photograph much.
Villa Burrus is a gorgeous setting and had interesting textile art this year, but it wasn’t really my “thing,” so no pictures. I almost posted a picture of the villa itself, but then I noticed I have a better one in last year’s post. Same goes for the Bernina sponsored Quilts de l’Europe de l’Est exhibit at the Church of St, Nicholas. My favorite work was by Vera Sherbakova, and I’ve already got pictures of some of her work here and here.
I did like two pieces by another Russian artist, Tatjana Schmidt. The people in her work were engaging, and reminded me of a conversation I had not to long ago about the figure in art, and in the art quilt in particular. I have a tendency to get on my art school pedestal when I see work that may have a great, or at least timely, message, but the execution is lacking. I find this especially noticeable when working with the figure. It really shows whether you know how to draw or not. I think if one wants to use the figure in their quilt art, it should be purposefully naïve; perhaps like Tatjana’s (which seems stylisticly appropriate for the subject matter as well):
Or perhaps like this “Nomad” by Catherine Bihl, which was in another exhibit:
I liked this one for other reasons as well. Look, she’s carrying her houses with her. I can relate.
If one is to use the figure realistically, then I want to see it done well. Or better than well. Like this detail from a work by Genevieve Attinger:
The Espace des Tisserands in Ste Marie aux Mines always has good exhibits. This year included the work of Inge Mardal and Steen Hougs. They work realistically, and it’s obvious that they are skilled artists. It surprised me that I was drawn more to the appliquéd works than the heavily quilted paintings that they are so well known for. (My favorite from the exhibit is “From the Herbarium,” although Twelve by 12 friends might want to wait for “Cycle” to flick by in the slide show on their web site.)
Also at the Espace des Tisserands was the Green Carpet for Afghanistan, accompanied by the Threads Connecting Women project and traditional Turkmen patchwork. The patchwork was very interesting. Although the patches themselves were the same or similar to traditional American patches, through the use, the arrangement, and the fabrics, the finished product was completely different. Just how much these pieces are influenced by American patchwork, or not, I can’t say, but they certainly had a voice of their own.
There was also more contemporary work by Kjufour and Textile Impact, which I decided not to photograph since these groups, like Glashaus, seemed to be bound by their internet connection and therefore would have online galleries. I need to note the name Genevieve Rampal though because I liked her work.
The Theatre has the big, traditional PATCHWORK. Last year it was the amazing Japanese ladies. This year the place of honor was a Home Sweet Home theme sponsored by the French quilt magazine Quiltmania.
Half way through the day I went to the vendor hall. The patchwork fabrics did not call to me. I was tired and my feet hurt a bit, not to mention the huge bruise on my elbow I received the night before but didn’t notice until morning. Maybe that had something to do with it. I liked a lot of hand dyed and painted fabric, but realized that if I was to use it in my work, it would show the artist’s hand — and that artist would not be me. If I want unique, artist-made fabric in my work, I need to be the artist to make it. I did linger by the threads and beads and picked up a few pieces of silk, so I didn’t leave empty handed. I bought pâte for the kids (spreadable wurst as they call it) from the food vendor outside too.
I was feeling guilty about the kids and the neighbors who had had them most of the day before and all of Sunday. I took a pass on a few smaller venues that didn’t sound enticing to me, but I’m glad I stopped on the way out of town at the exhibit of contemporary shibori by Lia Flemmings and Inger Kristensen. Since I’ve been reading Shibori Girl’s blog, and since Gerrie took her indigo workshop, I’ve been seeing the stuff everywhere.
I headed home tired, but inspired. Amazingly enough the neighbors weren’t quite ready to hand the kids back (they were at our local town fest — another blog post) so I had a little time to catch up on emails and to unpack.