I’ve just got back from this year’s Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (UK…). I almost didn’t go because last year was so overcrowded and I ended up feeling overwhelmed and frazzled and frankly didn’t enjoy the experience at all. I almost didn’t make it there because my car tyres were a little flat and at my first attempt of sorting it out I actually -deflated them causing all sorts of bells and whistle to go off … (never confuse your bars and psis when it comes to tyres… just saying)… no worries, we fixed it and with beautifully inflated tyres we made it in time.
The main reason I made myself go though was Nancy Crow. I’ve been a huge admirer of her work for years and I simply couldn’t miss it. I would have regretted it forever.
This exhibition showcased a new direction in her work (for the uninitiated she’s famous for colourful, contemporary pieced quilts, some would say she pretty much started the modern quilt movement)… she’s exploring and mastering the art of mono printing on fabric and the results are mind blowing.
(Mono prints #16/#23 blue, Self portrait: focus)
This is what she says, and keep in the mind she’s 74yrs old…
10/12 hour days… for weeks…
(Mono print #97 red, Self portrait: focus)
She works on a large scale. I admire the confidence of doing that.
(Mono Print #83 short, Self portrait: focus)
(Mono Print #88 short, Self portrait: focus)
One thing I learnt today about Nancy Crow’s work is that she never quilts her quilts herself but works in strict collaboration with other quilters to realise her vision (she acknowledges this on the back of the pieces). Also, for this body of work she moves away from hand quilting because the strong mark making she required were only possible with machine quilting and thicker wadding.
I couldn’t leave the stand. I kept walking up and down, trying to discover her secret.
She graciously agreed to take a picture with me and as you can see I’m not awestruck at all..
… not at all…
Definitively glad I got myself to the show.