Does size matter when it comes to quilts?
Generally speaking large has a lot more impact than small. There's something so monumental about a simple design write large - look at Motherwell's paintings or Frank Stella:
As an aside, I so wish we could use actual images from the 'net of other people's art work in a blog without Getty or someone descending on us like a ton of bricks! And, yes, one could write for permission, which may or not be granted, which may or may not take several days, and the muse has long gone! Fortunately, I took the above photo myself!
Look at the scale of it....if that were a little quilted piece about 18" wide and 5" high, would anyone look at it twice?
Many of our most well known art quilters have focused on large work made from large shapes and lines very often in high contrast colors (as in the Stella above) and they do look good in a gallery. The quilts, that is, not the quilters!!! Though I'm sure they don't look bad!!
Once I offered to help to hang an art show - all media - it had been judged by a professional from out of state who hadn't the time to say where the work should go. At the last minute, the expert I was supposed to be helping also disappeared! I was left with all these packages and crates and a couple of guys with ladders, hammer and nails!! I had no idea where to begin, hadn't even seen most of the work. A pro came by and I grabbed him "what do I do???" - he said "find one big piece to be the important piece, the focal point of each long wall...work the others in around it."
I did that...and it worked...but those Big Pieces literally did become the focal points, the meaning of that particular wall, the lead singer, everything else subservient.
And of course in our cities, we look upto the biggest building, or, at least, the tallest...so there's a lot to be said for Going Large......
So, should art quilts be large? Should we all be Thinking Big? When I suggested that this was "almost always" the case in one of my online classes, I immediately got several folk weighing in with Big support for Little quilts - quilts less than 12" on any dimension....apparently in both Europe and North America these miniatures are a real hit, often getting Big Prizes...but, I wonder, is this just because of the sheer incredible difficulty of making very complex designs exactly and obsessionally perfectly out of tiny little pieces. Are these little quilts the bird's nest soup of the quilt world? Precious because of the difficulty with which they are created? Well, what d'you think?? Comments, please!!
And, if you have been, thanks for reading!!! Elizabeth