To rediscover this excellent scan of what is my first intentionally made ‘art quilt’ last week was a thrill (the original is a 2×2 transparency, back in the filing cabinet in Perth – remember those?). This is ‘Ancient Expressions’, so named because I thought that would help it be juried into an exhibition,”Expressions in Quilting”, Barrington IL 1989. Whether it would have made it without that little push, I don’t know, but it did get in and sold from the exhibition. If anyone knows who has this quilt I’d love to hear where it is. I was never informed of the buyer, and didn’t think to press for that detail at the time 🙂
Ancient Expressions I, 1988. 114cm x 102cm
This success really focused me on making my own designs in layered textiles; and further, it led to a series which became the Ancient Expressions series (I- XIV) Each quilt has an element of landscape in the design, and all celebrate the ancients’ connection with their landscapes, expressed in the patterns they painted or carved on those surfaces. Two or three were OMG flops, but on the whole they are still works I’m proud of.
Detail of the hands – it’s not a grainy photo, I sprayed paint over ironed-on freezer paper cut-outs of my own hand shapes. But the paint seeped under the edges in places, and my initial reaction was that my experiment failed, as I had been going to embroider using the hands and paint as kind of templates (which on reflection would have been boring probably) but when a fellow embroiderer said ‘You could put it in a quilt …’ I looked with fresh eyes and realised its potential, made the quilt and went on exploring the potential of this theme in the series, some of which are pictured below:
L – R #XII # I #X #IX
L – R #XII #XIV #VI #II
Tags: Ancient Expressions, Ancient Expressions series, hand stitch, inspiration, landscape, passage of time, working in a series