The Artist Statement

The title of this work is “Flood 2”

I have always said the perfect artist statement for any work is a well chosen title. It offers some insight into the subject matter of the design, but leaves the viewer free to experience a work with unhindered by moulded expectations.

Further, I have often grumbled about having to produce yet another artist statement. And yet, its not hard. In this computer day and age its easy to have on file various lengths of statement from the ‘ in less that 50 words….” version of something to extensive on-file ramblings from which I pluck something to provide customised longer statements.

I have just come to the end of working with a team of web dsigners for a completely new website which now appears at http://www.alisonschwabe.com Moving the images round into a different order was interesting in that it helped me crystalise my thoughts about the groups of work I have done. That exercise prompted me to devise a general statement of the concept behind each series or group of quilts. For the moment I have not cluttered each quilt’s page with a particular statement about that quilt, as I feel the general one is enough, brief as it is. Following the statement is the list of techniques I used on pieces in the series. That’s for the technically curious, most often quilt makers. It’s about as informative as listing a painter’s works as “abstracts in oil” or “watercolour landscapes” but so often people want to know. IMHO, far too many textile artists go into long winded statements which include in almost mini tutorials on how they made each piece. That temptation is prompted by some exhibition organisers who ask for it on entry forms. I usually resist, or provide only a simple list. But one can be too brief – the photo of a quilt of mine was left out of a catalogue once, with something like ” no statement provided’ printed on the page beneath the name and title, dimensions and year of my quilt. I thought that was particularly snarky, but maybe it was tit for tat. I really could have said something very brief but chose not to. Now I always try to have a sentence at least about a quilt ready, along with title, dimensions, date, and price in the list I keep.

Thinking about what I am doing and why, with required objectivity and ordering of thoughts into comprensible printed or digital format can be hard, but is an ongoing process in which I’ve gradually learned more about myself. It has helped me to jot down notes as I work, and I don’t always do this, and don’t always feel I need to. I also make minimal drawings, and never make patterns or draw up anything in detail before starting a new piece, unless I am doing a commission, but that’s a bit different.

Oh, and the quilt,Flood 2″ comes from my Colour Memories series, and you’ll find it in a gallery by that name on http://www.alisonschwabe.com/ Posted by Picasa

4 Responses to “The Artist Statement”

  1. Lovely work, Alison. Your new site is very beautiful and stimulating – I hope it brings you much joy and many accolades.

    Vivika

  2. Kathy says:

    Alison, I love the new website, although I confess I can’t recall exactly what the former one was like. This one is super-easy to navigate and looks so polished!! I thought it was so fascinating that you have two addresses in such far-away places – imagine my surprise when I read your “About” page and found that you lived in Denver, where I live!!! I will be a frequent visitor of your blog!

    Kathy

  3. Sheila says:

    Like the new look. Makes the blog much easier to read.

  4. psychic eye says:

    That was a excellent read|. Your insights were very educational and made me reconsider the latest developments in these areas. If only more writers are as conscious and as passionate about telling the population about these issues as you, we aspiring journalists wouldn’t get such a bad rep. Appreciate expressing your self so articulately. You made my day.

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