Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Friends and Inspiration

It's Kristin again.
I have completed 11 painted and stitched canvases from the Service Star quilt in the previous post here! The curious can find them on my blog. I am happy to report that I feel no regret at painting and cutting up a decade's worth of work.

I am also happy to report that I had the opportunity to visit friend and fellow 8 That Create artist, Natalya, last weekend. We had a great time in NYC with two of three from a special circle of friends.

We spent the better part of two days together seeing art and soaking it in. This is our posse on Broadway, posting on one of Chakaia Booker's Rubber Sentinels.

One of my favorite exhibits (Natalya will post about the other, was The Urban Fabric, by Liz Kueneke at The Hudson Guild. 

Kueneke embroidered city maps on fabric and then invited the city’s inhabitants to stitch on the maps in response to several questions, such as “what is the heart of the city?” and “what is a negative place in the city.” The embroideries were accompanied by legends explaining the symbols used, and photos and videos of participants telling their stories. The large scale made it relatively easy to "read" the maps, but it also allows the viewer to walk through them and therefore feel more connected to the city and the project.

The embroidered maps themselves are meticulous and attractive, and create a neutral backdrop for the rougher participant additions. It was interesting to see that in some cities, the loves, hates, and interesting bits were scattered overall, and in other cities, they were clustered in specific spots. The maps are beautiful in and of themselves, but the viewers’ responses on them add a wonderful depth. 

Even the backs of the embroideries are intriguing. 

I'm so glad we took the time to seek out this exhibit. I found the work to be well conceived and beautiful.  It was all thought provoking and excellent fodder for further conversations and curiosity.

Of course, it didn't hurt that I was there with friends who were also inspired, and that our conversations veered into our own explorations and experiences and our own personal maps. We may work alone in our studios, but to also come together and commiserate with, encourage, and support each other is just as important to our work as the lone, introspective time. I am glad to have found such a group.