This is what happens when you go away for a couple of days.

Life 11 - Trolls

I've been away for a few days, which is a good thing.  Space gives you time to think, but even if you don't think, it gives time for your ideas to settle and congeal.

I thought I'd be tackling the "Roots" quilt next, but when I got home and checked the images, there's only one quilt in my mind.

I shall be starting it very soon, just as soon as the frame has been completed on Life 12- Murder.  I'm very excited - can't wait to start.

It's going to be called The unProfessional Wife, and I have found my angle, but am thinking about the words - another similar to Life 4 perhaps, although after reading these comments this morning on a quilt forum, I feel I should let the world know that:

I'm quite well adjusted. I'm reasonably calm and sensible, with - I hope - a fine sense of humour. Just saying.



Comments (of which there were many, many, nice ones to be fair, so don't feel sorry for me!!) I fint it's interesting, nothing more.



"ew. just No. We can celebrate all we want but some things are just not meant to be put on display."



"I clicked on the second link that someone had posted and cruised through the website looking at other quilts she has done. This lady seems like a very tortured soul, almost makes me feel bad for her. The close up pictures of some of the faces are very very creepy. Like the "haunt me in my dreams" kind of creepy."


"I hope she never does a nudist quilting bee scene. I showed this to a friend and their comment was "Psycho quilter, it will do that to ya, but woman are psycho anyway". Seriously though, my takeaway is that women have to be naked to get their opinions noticed and I find it disturbing and demeaning. A woman exploiting women, shame on her. Just my HO....should have posted a warning."

To each his own, and art (including art quilts) is quite subjective. But this piece does nothing for me. On the other hand art is designed to elicit an emotional response, and I did actually have one - - "ick". 


So, a little bit of unkindness about Life 4 on an American Quilters forum, I'd like to move this comment I made from a recent posting to here, as it's worthy of mentioning again I feel.

" I also feel I'd like to say a word on behalf of the models. When people start to discuss work as if the maker doesn't exist that's one thing, but no one ever thinks about the wonderful models. Yes they are paid, but they've purposely put themselves out there in the hope that it will help their fellow women feel better about themselves and about how they look. I'm truly grateful for their courage and their willingness to support me, and I'd like to remind others that they are not faceless lumps but caring and thoughtful women trying to help their fellows in their own way."


Comments

These comments say more about them and their view of women, or being tortured or whatever! They own the feelings. Your work always makes me laugh, feel uplifted and in high good humour. And, even better, I own those feelings! How good is that!
Annabel Rainbow said…
Thank you Cathy! The questions raised by them are easily answered by looking under the "about me" section at the top of the blog.
Maggi said…
I guess that you are never going to be able to get your message through to people like this. Wonder what they would have said about the pieces if they had been painted rather than stitched?
Annabel Rainbow said…
You may have a point! Perhaps, if they'd been paintings and not quilts, they'd have gone unnoticed. Taking what is a historically viewed as Women's Work and using it to express myself, is an attempt at taking quilts out of their natural habitat!! I object however to being told I'm using women - like using naked women to sell perfume or motorcycles? - the opposite is true. I'm simply trying to tell a truth and show life as it is not as it is portrayed which heaps pressures and insecurities on us all. Here's a bit from my artist statement:

I am fascinated by people and particularly the role of women; their feelings, thoughts and place in society. I try to capture the essence or spirit of the women I depict, and communicate their story to a wider audience. My work is not easy, it challenges, not just because it depicts the natural unglossed naked body, but also raw thoughts and feelings. To some they are unpalatable. I hope that if you take the time to read, and think, you will find your voice singing alongside mine.

Quilts have longed been used as an unrestricted voice of women’s creativity; and I have chosen this medium to express my thoughts and feelings. There is a rich and strong heritage regarding quilts and “womens work” and although I’d like to add to that in my own way, and be part of it, it’s not my driving force.

Each of my quilts tells a story about the woman depicted, and explores what it means to be a modern woman pulled in different directions by motherhood, domesticity, career, ambitions, and age. The women, all drawn from life, have text blistered and ingrained into the skin, before being painted over with acrylics. The person and the story become one. The text is intentionally difficult to read, but not impossible. I do not want the image to exist only to illustrate the text, but to be a subtle extra layer; one you have to look for. I am whispering my stories to you and not shouting.

I also began to think of the way we use clothes, not only for protection and modesty, but also as a statement about ourselves; to show our ethnicity, our wish to belong to a certain group or tribe, (Goths, Hells Angels, or maybe just in admiration of a pop group, celebrity, or athlete) We have developed a constantly changing fashion, and some of us have a need to be in the latest colour or style, and we just feel better about ourselves when we think we look nice. We use clothes to attract the opposite sex, or make ourselves look interesting. Sometimes the opposite applies and we may choose to dress in a very conservative way, or a disheveled way, purposefully to avoid attraction or indeed repel others! We may wish to say that we have reached a certain standard in life and are beyond frippery and are hard working and sensible. Reliable or expensive. We wear clothes as a uniform of age.

I wish to take away all those assumptions and prejudices and look at the human being underneath in it’s true and natural state.

The two skills of sewing and painting, merged into the “Life Series” of art quilts. Each one depicts a woman and tells a story about her both graphically and textually. The words may be a poem, an extract from a book, or a piece written by me, and they give an extra layer of meaning, capturing the essence of the dilemmas of being a woman today. The words are often in stark contrast to the cosy domestic imagery.
Never apologise, never explain. Your work speaks for itself - it is beautiful and profound, as are you! Because it is egregious, it will exact an egregious response and that is a wonderful thing. People who don't get it will still have their brain cells nudged - another wonderful thing. All over the world, people are making snap judgements and often, the same people are damaging others by their snap judgements, by their lack of compassion and awareness, and by their huge fear of 'other', even if 'other' is defined by very very small differences. Your wish "to take away all those assumptions and prejudices" is wholly glorious and wholly worthwhile - but it surely must be an arduous route littered with doors ajar with a bucket of cold water atop them. For every twit who cannot see the narrowness of their viewpoint and yet struggles daily to keep those buckets in place, there are people who love and appreciate your work and will kick those doors open before, and after, you get a dousing! Keep on keeping on!!
Joelia said…
Hello,

I visit your blog for months, admire your work, but never left a comment. And today I realize that if some can take time to critic your work, I should take time as well to tell you how much I love what you are doing.
In the world there's at least two group, those who can and those who can't, generally the second group out of jealousy critics the first one.
So as you cannot please everyone, continue to please yourself and those who admire you !
Joelia from French Giuana.
Annabel Rainbow said…
You know, you're a little treasure RCW!! What a lovely comment - so supportive and thoughtful, truly, thank you x
Annabel Rainbow said…
Hello Joelia, thank you for commenting - lovely to converse at last! And you're quite right, you can't please everyone can you? xx
Annabel Rainbow said…
I also feel I'd like to say a word on behalf of the models. When people start to discuss work as if the maker doesn't exist that's one thing, but no one ever thinks about the wonderful models. Yes they are paid, but they've purposely put themselves out there in the hope that it will help their fellow women feel better about themselves and about how they look. I'm truly grateful for their courage and their willingness to support me, and I'd like to remind others that they are not faceless lumps but caring and thoughtful women trying to help their fellows in their own way.
Beth said…
Annabel, This is kind of a personal comment. A few years ago a "famous" art quilter had a blog post blasting every quilt at Houston that was representational. She especially honed in on one of polar bears which was a winning quilt and quite skillfully done. She was vicious in her attach and I was stunned. I wrote a comment that said in essence, Don't you think the quilt world is large enough for all of us? She removed the comment from her blog. That really got me mad and I said something about not tolerating anyone who didn't agree with her which she also immediately removed from her blog. She is VERY well known and every time I hear her name I shake my head. When I was very young I heard a person say that some people don't feel tall until they are stepping on someone else.

Your work is brilliant. The craftsmanship of the paintings is wonderful and the themes behind each piece is well thought out, the symbolism right on (rotting leaves) and the topics timely, universal ( at least in my universe - smile). I think you are the real deal.
Annabel Rainbow said…
Hello Beth, What a shame your comments were censored - you've always been universally kind and positive; certainly nothing to remove from any discussion. Oh well, I'm glad it hasn't put you off commenting in general!! Thank you for enjoying my quilts and taking the time and trouble to let me know. xx
Christine said…
What I love about the comments you quote where the commenter offers an instant psychoanalysis of you as the artist, is that they don't realise what they are revealing about themselves when they do it!
Will confess I like lurking at any art exhibition and listening to comments. Amazing how many people think the only opinion that has any validity is their own.
Anyway, I hope someday to see all your lovely women together in an exhibition (and to listen in on the comments!)
Annabel Rainbow said…
Thank you Christine, Yes I'd love them to be together at some point. There's a couple missing now, but I'm going to ask Laura to print me off a copy of them and hang them alongside. Just looking for venues - another job entirely!
You have to remember that these people are nuts. They are odd balls in their own lives. Of the thousands who love your stuff, don't dwell on the idiots. They come from the same stable as those who don't believe in evolution or birth control or ..... or ................

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