Our quilter’s discussion group went well last night, accompanied by lots of wine and my mum’s strawberry tart!
This months topic was the V&A exhibition, and it was interesting how our views of the exhibition were quite diverse. All of us named different quilts as our favourite, although possibly the sun-dial quilt was the one most admired. Whilst not everyone liked the work of Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry it was agreed that their inclusion helped to validate quilt making as an art and got a wider range of critics interested in the show.
It was felt the Quilter’s Guild did not seem to be recognised at all which is a shame considering the work they did in the 1990s documentation project which preserved quilt stories in the UK, and how their formation has kept quilt making alive today. I think they did advise on some aspects of the exhibition, but quilt making could possibly have completely died out in the UK (or become very dependant on America) without them and perhaps something about the stories of why they set up would have been interesting.
The question asked which most threw people was “what contemporary maker would you have included in the exhibition”. This was hotly debated, as the quilt had to have a story to tell and so how big a story did it have to be…? The argument was that all quilts have a story to tell, but they are essentially domestic items so these tales can be viewed by some as mundane.
We also discussed the merchandise and layout of the exhibition. Those who had used the Ipod app said it was excellent, although it was commented that considering the demographic of the average quilter how many of them would have iphones (however I know several quilters who have them…). Most exciting was the viewing window on the back of the drunkards path quilt which enabled viewers to see the papers which were still in on the back, and possibly the most disappointing was the wholecloth quilts on the beds which were not easy to see. Someone did comment about this that it was just good to see a quilt on a bed in an exhibition, the place it was made to go, rather than hanging on a wall.
Everyone was in agreement that the exhibition can only have been good in promoting quilt making in the UK, and it was refreshing to see this number of quilts presented in a way which is not a quilt show. We then tried to analyse where quilt making should go now, but apart from someone saying that the exhibition may now tour we couldn’t figure this one out – it was very late by then!
Next months Quilt Salon is on Contemporary vs Traditional.