Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blowing From the Southeast Today


I wasn't up so late last night, but I did finish another square.

This post from Betsy Greer at Craftivism really got me thinking. What she says about her experience of being taught that one had to suffer to make art, and finding out that craft has no such baggage, resonates with me. I went through the whole art school thing, and although we had a Marxist slant and identified as “cultural workers”, not tortured artists, there was still often that lack of authenticity that Betsy mentions.

I was more successful in the career sense than many of my classmates (had shows, got grants, made sales) but, in retrospect, I hated it. I have sewn since I was a kid, knitted since my early 20’s, and that is what has persisted, has always been there. I still work with craft in an art context (or maybe I should say I work with art in a craft context.) I don’t know where the dividing line is.

But if I wasn’t a knitter or quilter, I would probably be like Agnes Martin, painting orderly line after line. The repetitive, soothing action of making stitches helps me feel whole. It is real, concrete, tangible evidence of my being here in the world. And at the same time, ephemeral.

Just like life.

And for something really amazing, check out this article on healing with cloth.

3 comments:

  1. Well said. I totally agree with you re: Agnes Martin and stitching being evidence.

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  2. I followed a similar path in the ART field but struggled with the idea that art was only matted, framed and hung on the wall. Then - I spent 6 months weaving in Japan and experienced the respect for all things handmade and it changed my crafty life. Stitch on!

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  3. sometimes i read your blog and think we are such kindred spirits! i've been chewing on betsy's post as well.. it resonated with my experience too. i did wonder if the comfort and healing many people seem to find in craft gives it a different kind of "baggage" so to speak... such an interesting topic!

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