I was asked to provide a quilt as a guest artist in a weavers exhibition themed on Tree of Life, opening here next week. Over the many months since I was first asked, I have been thinking of Jose Gurvich, a famous Uruguayan painter designer and ceramicist of the deconstructivist school. A friend took me to an exhibition of his ceramics a year or two back, wonderful primal pieces many of them covered with little symbols and 3-d little living things, people, animals, fish, all kinds of things, exquisite. …bought a book about him which is delightful to read. So, I thought, well the tree of life, with Adam and Eve, the first two humans, and the leaves and fruits to hold the symbols of life, the serpent lurking etc.
Communication with the organiser over along period had been a little intermittent and complicated by language assumptions and difficulties so that what seemed a distant deadline became urgent and then three more days even more so, on account of a public holiday monday. Typical Uruguay though…. you just have to go with the flow. So I did. On tuesday I made the decision to start all over, and was thinking calico/muslin background, paint it again, but better . But on wednesday morning I sat bolt upright in bed and thought ‘BLACK…Eureka!’ and, further, for once, had plenty on hand. I did a few little testing samples, realised black marker pen on organza over black would be fabulous , and achieved the bonding and fusing wednesday which makes me a new bonding fan, thursday sewed around all the edges of organza that were beginning to lift a little !!!!! and so by thursday night, ie 24 hours ago, began quilting, continuing into the wee small hours this morning, and after a few hours sleep I put on the the binding and sleeve, did the hand sewing and finishing off while the book selection discussions were on, brought it back, signed and put it on its rod, in a bag and finally got it, paperwork, spanish and english versions of my statement, price, contact info etc etc all to the delivery point downtown, with just 10 minutes to spare… hurtling through pouring rain and late friday traffic with a taxi driver who understood my need get there and balanced that with incredibly good driving in bad conditions. Why was it important to me to do this and just about knock myself out over it just days before we head off up to the US ? … because I said I would, and because who knows where this invite may lead, and heck, I just love last minute pressure ! For pressure, this piece ranks up there with ‘Lilydale’ juried into Paducah the year the theme was triangles ?1991? Anyway, the decision to do a last minute effort and make that deadline was made just after Xmas with the deadline merely 3 weeks away… I told the family take care, talk amongst themselves quietly in the background, I was going to be busy a while. From GO to WHOA that quilt, 84inches by, what, 68 or so ? took two weeks to make. And, years later, I still love it… that’s the test IMHO .