Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From Inspiration to a Series

In my last blog I showed the picture of Durham (UK) castle and cathedral.

durham castle 

    That picture and several others I took across the river Wear which flows around the base of the rock upon which the castle and the cathedral are built  were very inspiring. Durham is a town really worth visiting – if you can figure out how out how to use the car park – we had to have assistance from several passersby! Probably be better to go by train!  You can get all around the UK by train and it’s great just to sit there and dream your way through landscapes.  I sure wish you could do that  here.  I live in a major college town, there is a huge metropolis about 80 miles away – and no public transport.

Eniow!  (this is a very useful Yorkshire word that should be in the dictionary but isn’t ….yet!)
Eniow, enough of political moaning and back to inspirations.  The castle rock at Durham with all the buildings piled up upon it actually inspired a whole series of quilts – I continually went back to this photo and to my notes and postcards from my visit there and this is the series of quilts I made .   They are all about 60 inches square.  I worked with different techniques, different materials, different lighting, different  myths and fancies – I did have a show in Atlanta with all five displayed and that looked great!  But now they are split up and gone their separate ways.


In the above picture I was focusing on the weight of the buildings and their texture.


In this piece I wanted to contrast the earthiness and domesticity of the houses with the  more abstract concepts of religion.


In the above piece I was thinking about the light in late spring, everything warming up!


And in the quilt above I was more involved in the overall pattern created by the buildings.


In this piece I was thinking of myths about castles and strange lands: the golden castle above the town where the princess sleeps for ever, the land where the bong trees grow to which, one day ,we might sail!

So…you can see how easily I can get into a series!  I’ll be talking a lot about this in my class at Quilting by the Lake later this summer.  Meanwhile, if you have been, thanks for reading and looking!  Elizabeth


Jackie said...

Thank you! One question: did you maintain any elements throughout the series, or did you begin each one anew? Scrolling through them it's difficult to see exactly though I plan to spend more time with them.

Elizabeth Barton said...

I began each one anew and deliberately did not look at the previous ones - the one constant was the size.

Nina Marie said...

One thing that strikes me in this series, is light source. I like how its depicted in each quilt but I'm not sure how you got to those design decisions. Is it deliberately planned and worked toward or was it more spontaneous? 60" is such a nice size - it makes a statement, works well with the subject matter and yet fits well on a wall and under your sewing machine (gotta be practical!)

Deb Lacativa said...

Of the four, the first appeals to me the most but the last, Where the Bong Trees Grow was the one that made such an impression on my when I saw it at the show you had in Gwinnett. It was the first time I saw art quilts "in the fiber" and was completely knocked out.

It was a quiet weekday afternoon in that gallery and I just lay down on the floor and stared. Seeing this work completely changed my thinking about the possibilities of fabric and thread.