Just got back from my fifth Quilt National! What a wonderful quilt show this is...or perhaps I should say art show - for many of the pieces shown there would be equally at home in any fine art gallery. 85 quilts were chosen from 851 entries. Rather fewer entries than previous years: 2011 (1000+), 2009 (1000+), 2007 (1151). I wonder if this is because several well known art quilt makers, stalwarts of many shows, are now too famous, or too old to be bothered entering? There's a whole new slew of folk coming along, but finding the time and money for art gets harder for younger people every year.
Of the 85 quilts, I thought 33 were absolutely stunning and very inspirational, and of course there were some that were clever or very attractive, and some you wondered about! Alas, the jurying for prizes was also done by photographs and not from the real thing which I feel is a disservice to both the medium and the artists. I know if I asked they would say: Oh we have to do that so we can record the prize winners in the catalogue...BUT BUT why is having the listing in the catalogue So important? You could easily have on the last page information to a website page where the prize winners are listed. Plus it would be really fun to choose those whom you thought should have got a prize - and then go to the website to find out whom the jurors chose.
The catalogue by the way is very well done; published this year by Dragon Threads instead of Lark Books, and is available on the QN website. Since you can see the full pictures there of all the quilts - but very few details, I'll show you some details and some of the people who were at the opening!
The quilt at the top is mine - one of my industrial quilt series but the emphasis here is very much on what we're doing to our environment. Can you see the little boy (life size) crouched beneath the oil derrick? The weight of our demands for huge amounts of cheap energy is on the backs of our children and grandchildren.
Exploitation of the environment was a theme addressed by several quilts in this show, also other major issues like child abuse and Alzheimer's. May our voices be heard! And, thankfully, many artists made work about beauty - both obvious and hidden, loud and quiet!
One of my favorite pieces was Gabriel by Anne Smith of Cheshire, UK. I don't know anything about Anne but she has a wonderful sense of humour: "Gabriel has a job to do - he is a messenger - but what does he do on his days off from serious work? What does he wear?"
a detail of Luanne Rimel's heavily stitched piece - masses and masses of beautiful stitch texture:
Dear Patty Hawkins by her lovely Colorado quilt.
Another beautiful stitching detail - this time from Judith Plotner's work...as you can see it also has a very irregular edge.
And finally my dear friend Robin Schwalb making a beautiful come hither Kitty face for me!!!
Do buy the book to see all the quilts in full and do consider entering yourself next time!! Deadline for entries will be sometime in September next year...start designing now!
And, if you have been, thanks for reading!