Earlier this year, an article about my four Quilt National quilts appeared here http://quiltnationalartists.com/journey-landscape-alison-schwabe/ and it seemed a good place to start a broader study for a powerpoint presentation I was asked to give to a meeting of Ozquilt in Perth WA last month (May 2014). It was suggested I might talk on inspirations, themes and my processes. Naturally, revisiting mixed media work and quilt making done over 35+ years led to the rediscovery of many works I’d pushed to the back of my memory – some for very good reasons indeed! Here’s a pair of works made 7 years apart on the theme of water as a major force of nature shaping landscape:
Still Waters #2, 1993. That year we were living in the USA, and early summer floods occurred all down the mighty Mississippi River valley, leaving thousands of people flooded out, destroying many homes and much infrastructure. There were many dramatic and harrowing stories in the media, all of which prompted this piece. Now, the ‘What Was I Thinking?’ bit may be obvious to you, but didn’t occur to me at the time: floodwaters, whether seeping or pouring over a tiled floor are not clear and sparkly! I still have this piece, and now put it in the category of ‘not a great one’ but a work I had to make, nevertheless.
Flood, 2000 125cm x 110cm This flood piece got the swirling muddy waters right – because by this time I was more focused the powerful force of water in/on landscape. I don’t think this is an especially wonderful a quilt, either, and hardly surprises me it is still ‘In Artist’s Collection’ Again, it had to be made, probably so I could move on. The murky green main fabric is quilted with freehand water current lines, though they’re hard to see in the clear nylon thread I used in the twin top stitch needle. Although I have revealed something about this work, it still amazes me that I actually made this one – another ‘What Was I thinking?’ piece.