making art

I’ve spent the better part of the past week preparing a new gallery on my website to showcase collages made from fabric scraps. Its been a bit of an obsession. What began as a way to assemble scraps from my beloved scrap bin into usable sale worthy packs of fabric delight,

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has led to framing each view as a fixed piece of art.

As a quiltmaker, I have resisted this way of defining art. Even as an architect and artist, I have always sought for the way of art as a continuum of experience despite the ‘reality’ of a fixed view that might define its value. What I love about quiltmaking is the ability to create a multi-sensory experience. As a quiltmaker, I love the tradition of making something to be touched, wrapped, draped, and/or viewed in a multiplicity of ways. Confining an image to the wall has never felt like enough for me. Now, with these little framed fabric collages piling up in my studio, because I can’t seem to stop making them, I have to wonder why. Why am I doing this and why do I enjoy it so much?

The blurb on my website offers this description,
“Framed works of art embodying Kathy’s passion for making spontaneous design decisions, using pieces of color and texture that have been saved from twenty-five years of quiltmaking. Each assemblage is a collection of varying sizes and shapes of cotton, linen, wool, and silk fibers, of varying configurations, set behind glass to fix them in place.” Making these smaller fabric assemblages  is another kind of continuum I suppose, one that carries the energy of what I love in the making from one place to another.

Engaging with this endeavor has left me with lots of questions about how we, as a culture, view and value art. It is a matter of consciousness after all. After reading some excellent articles on the subject., and, I re-connected with what I have always known, that it doesn’t matter what manner of art I am making, I simply feel like I am in love during the making. It is such a good feeling.

And yet, the potential for feeling overwhelm looms. I feel this every day. My capacity for response is directly related to the sped up and complex collective of experience of the world today.  Most days it feels like there is no place or value for simplicity. A feeling of well-being in a simple act of love feels as transient as a connection to the internet. Perhaps this is the way it has always been. But I can’t help but wonder, what if we consistently chose to keep going back to the place where we felt love instead of choosing to be led by fear?

I read that the blood flow increased for a beautiful painting is just as it increases when you look at somebody you love. This tells us art induces a feel good sensation direct to the brain. Not surprising really. I suppose I am still just optimistic enough to think that this can be the core purpose for making art, that it is enough to offer a way into love.

SA #14 copy 2


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