Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mindmapping a journey

I like to produce my quilts as a body of work, so that, while each piece is complete on its own, it also fits in to the whole collection I am working on. That's how I worked with my eucalyptus quilts. It meant that displaying these quilts in a solo exhibition was the perfect finish to my work on this theme. As you probably know by now if you've been visiting here for a while, I am now exploring childhood in my quilts. More specifically, I am trying to capture the wide-eyed wonder of little children discovering this awesome world, especially those little/everyday things which we big people easily take for granted. I have completed several large pieces in this theme, as well as a few smaller ones.

Because I would love to eventually see this body of work displayed as an exhibition, I like to 'take stock' as I go, of how my artworks are working together (the number of them, their sizes, their subject). A mind map (pictured) is great for this - although my quick sketches and notes are very rough, they let me know where I'm at, and help me to picture where I'd like to head with future pieces. In this body of work, the subject of each quilt is especially important to me. I want each quilt to capture some element of this 'childhood journey of discovery', but the whole body of work has to capture this much more fully. I also want to have a range of sizes - a good number of large quilts (I love piecing these large ones together!) but also a collection of smaller quilts, to keep it interesting. The smaller quilts are proving more challenging for this collection, as it's much more difficult to piece a 'scaled-down' person than a 'scaled-down' eucalyptus leaf.

I still have so many ideas to develop for this collection of quilts, but I'm just not finding half as much time as I would like, to work on them (what with a houseful of little kids, and a housebuilding project to keep me challenged). I am going to keep sketching and stitching away at leisure for now, with the goal of planning and working towards another exhibition once we have moved into our new house. Can't wait! In the meantime, there are curtains, blinds, cushions, upholstery and bedlinen to cut, print and sew, so I shan't be bored!

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