Monday, December 18, 2006

The members of WAV were presented with a year-long challenge at the 2005 Christmas party. The goal was to pick a word and then to create four quilts - one each quarter of 2006 - by interpreting the word in different ways. The first quilt, due in March was to be thematic, or the literal interpretation of the word. The June quilt was to be an allegorical interpretation, meaning the quilt was to tell a story or convey a feeling. The story did not necessarily have to be obvious to viewers but should be clear to the artist. The third quilt was canonical or based on rules created by the artist before they began the piece. The rules could be whatever made sense to the artist but should be followed once made. The fourth quilt was to be a compilation of things learned in making the first three pieces. Three members of the group were successful in creating four quilts by the December 2006 meeting. Two of us only managed to eke out the first three and the rest of the members elected not to participate. I will use my quilts to explain the concept further since I have individual photos of them and I will follow with photos of the other participants taken at yesterday's Christmas party.

My word was "Island" and my first quilt was my attempt at a literal interpretation of the word through the use of a palm tree, sand, shells, angelina sea gulls and a driftwood hanger.

"Island 2" was the allegorical quilt and I chose to portray an isolated person signifying lonliness, sadness and depression. The people at the beginning of the quilt are in the light, colorful and joyful. They are connected in a number of ways. The person at the end of the quilt is hidden in the tattered edges, alone and dark, a human island.

"Island 3" was based on rules I made before I started work on the piece. My rules were created based on the Island I know best - Prince Edward Island where I was born and bred. The number 4 was significant, I wanted to include isolated elements and each element had to be composed of three parts. Once I had my rules established I could forget everything else and work just with them. This piece is therefore the most abstract of the quilts.

I still hope to add "Island 4" to this collection even though the deadline has come and gone and we are about to start on a new challenge for 2007.

Quilts from the rest of the participating members:

Wanda Nelson with her four pieces created using the word "Earth". This photo was emailed to me and I am not sure why it is so yellow. I hope someone else from the group has a better image they can post to replace this one. Wanda's pieces are spectacular and this image doesn't do them justice!
Cynthia St. Charles - Her quilts representing the word "Baby" are the four above her head. A new grandchild has played a very significant role in Cindy's life this year. The first quilt contains numerous images of babies, some known to Cindy, some from other sources. Her second quilt has silk screens of Michelangelo's sketches of a child in the womb. The screenswere then transferred onto hand-dyed organza. The third piece is made from painted baby wipes and safety pins and the fourth quilt combines many elements from the first three as well as others.

Linda Jackson with her quilts created using the word "Chaos". Linda's pieces were also amazing and I hope she will post more information about her thought process as she created them.
Kathy Hammond's word was "Adoption". Kathy became a grandmother this year when her son and daughter-in-law adopted a beautiful baby boy from Guatemala. Her first quilt is on the wall behind her and is a wonderful fabric representation of a photo of her grandson. Her allegorical quilt is seen in both photos - it is a rollercoaster decorated with many hearts chronicalling the various stages of the adoption and Kathy's third, canonical quilt is the tree hanging on the wall to the right of the portrait.

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