Thursday, June 16, 2005
Is it ART?
A question arose about art quilts and can crazy quilts be art. I don't do art quilts or crazy quilts but I do a lot of needlework that I design myself. So, am I an artist or a crafter? I wouldn't call myself an artist, but I don't think I'm a crafter either. I don't have a message to convey, I just do it for fun, or to see if I can. Maybe if I wanted to get someone to pay me for it, I might take it a bit more seriously and then I might call myself an artist!
Anyway. All this reminded me of the City & Guilds course. For Part II we looked at Surrealism - we attended a Lee Miller (photographer) exhibition and looked at other artists, including Joseph Cornell who put things into boxes and was an obsessive collector.
The essence of all this, I thought, was to do something odd with an everyday object, convey some kind of message and, in the case of Jospeh Cornell, make an 'assemblage' (I suppose we might make a 'memory box' today).
This was all completely at odds with the way I view the things that I make - purely for enjoyment, but as ever I was prepared to have a go.
So, here is my 'Collector' an insect - and in his box, little people of slightly differing colour. My inspiration, apart from the surrealists, came from the seaside. At the old town hall in Aldburgh on the Suffolk coast is a room full of wide shallow drawers. Each drawer is full of moths and butterflies. I went there just after we had looked at Cornell, when the idea of collections was fresh in my mind.
When I showed this in class, one or two people were offended. I hope I haven't offended anyone here. It was a lighthearted joke at the expense of the surrealists and our very serious tutor.