27 April 2013

Art I like - Joe Cunningham's quilts

Via the useful SAQA Art Quilt News, which comes to my inbox on Fridays, I found the work of Joe Cunningham -
Patchwork Quilt, 2012, is part of Northern Star Quilters' "A World of Quilts XXXIV" exhibition,
Somers, New York, 4-5 May
I was struck by the exuberant confidence of this quilt - using colours and combinations of patterns I'd never dreamt of combining, myself - it not only opened my eyes but sent me scurrying to find out more.

On his website (joethequilter.com) Joe has a slide show and gallery of his quilts, of which these are a few -
See them all, and see them larger, at joethequilter.com
After watching the slideshow several times, getting a sense of the body of work, I nominate these as my current favourites, though it was hard to choose. The quilts seem to have such stories in them, or behind them. Perhaps I've been reading too much Tim Ingold lately, but they seem to me to be "places" where various journeys cross - and as Ingold says, "every place, as a gathering of things, is a knot of stories." Part of the craft (or art) of the storyteller is knowing what to leave out, and these quilts embody that - leaving in just what is necessary to give the viewer enough "information" for speculation, drawing their own conclusions, and perhaps coming back to rethink their interpretation.
Reminds me of my "journey lines"; and in the first video here
Joe describes the technicalities of making this kind of quilt
This one has the viewer making up a story about the islands
If the title brings to mind the story of Rumpelstiltzken, the viewer's job is
to match up the visual components with elements of the story
A professional quilt artist since 1979, Joe is also a travelling lecturer - with a musical presentation, “Joe, the Quilter,” a true story about English quilter Joe Hedley (1750-1830), which inspired Joe Cunningham to become a quilter.

1 comment:

MAM said...

My goodness I didn't realize he was still around! I took a class from him - along with his SO at the time ( Gwen Marsden?) and what they were doing back then looked nothing like his work today! One older lady in the class thought she was his mother ( there was an age difference) and asked! Some of us thought it was funny - they didn't!

The book binding tool rolls look great - hope you finally get it right. I kept trying to get a knitting needle roll to suit me - not too bad for the straights but the circulars continue to elude me,