“'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.”
“Would we be willing to re-characterize work as mixed media construction in order to help it go mainstream? Is the resistance semantic?”
A couple of years ago I was awarded a solo gallery show in a college. The person who awarded me the show then retired and it was some time later than I was contacted by her successor, the head of the art department, who was obviously very leery of putting on a “quilt” show. “Can you bring your (gulp) quilts to the gallery on the 1st of next month ”? he said on the phone, trepidation in his voice. He had to fulfill the obligation but obviously this was not his sort of thing! The previous show had been photographs blown up huge, glued to the gallery walls and then smeared and dribbled with house paint!
However, when I got there, he looked at the pieces and said “But, these aren’t quilts, they’re fiber collages!”.
I think that the word “quilt” has a rich and wide meaning for those of us who work with fiber, but a very different meaning for the world at large. And, if we want to communicate with a non-quilter, it does make sense to talk their language. I don’t think we have to deny our quilt origins but simply clarifying the term for the non-aficionado might help, as in “fiber collages/ art quilts”
I really don’t think this is any big deal. But then coming from an English English speaking background and now living in an American English country, I have learned that words can miscommunicate as well as communicate. We’ve all heard the “knocked up” difference! As in “wake up in the morning” (UK) versus “get pregnant” (US) , but there are so may more. One of my favorites was when we boarded the plane to come to the USA and the pilot announced “we will be in the air momentarily!”…the Americans looked pleased, the British looked worried. For the US citizens the word momentarily meant “soon”, for the UK ones it meant “for a short time only”!!
So, a little education and clarification all round definitely helps!
I can’t beat old Bill, so will leave it there! If you have been, thanks for reading. Elizabeth
PS all comments most gratefully accepted, especially those in blank verse!