CLOTH IN COMMON
QUESTIONING, What's Next, Bethany Garner, 2021, Cloth in Common, Art Quilt
Summer is flying by and it has been a busy albeit fairly locked down summer... and being able to create ARTWORK is all the fun I need to just keep working away during these days when we all are still pretty well homebound. We arts practitioners are busy enjoying walks, taking solace in the world around us, and yes, setting calendar dates for possible openings for galleries and shows. MAYBE even being together with the friends and relatives we all love so very much to be with... LIVE, in the same room or at least out of doors... a few feet apart!
Living in the beautiful City of Kingston, ON, and sharing the water views from Lake Ontario through my Studio window with a few visitors is wonderful! As the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning opened its doors once again to the public - all Kingston Frontenac Health Unit rules in place and being observed so well, we are seeing a few visitors now and then. Many folks are just staying close to home and immediate family!!
I recently accepted an invitation to become a member of CLOTH IN COMMON, a tremendous 12 Artist Collective of the most amazing artists, living and practicing their art worldwide. Having followed this group for MANY years now as they shared their new artwork, created in the homes/studios that I would dearly love to be able to step into one day... I am honored to have this opportunity. Over the past few weeks, I finished my first contribution to the group's ROUND 3 Series. Each year, 6 quilts, created by each member, working on the agreed STRUCTURES theme and with a prompt by Karol Kusmaul to work on FACES.
My 40"h x 26"w quilt started with the base fabric from Cultured Expressions and owner Lisa Shepherd in New Jersey, USA. Her cloth lines are original, created by young artists in Africa, and are a group I have supported with cloth coming into my collection over many years. This piece is Jacquard linen, hand-dyed and purchased as a 2 m. piece. It speaks to me of the virus that is circulating through the background of our lives... and while yes, I know this piece was created long before we knew about the Covid-19 virus, the artist who created the cloth may have had experience with circulating. deep visions in her own creative mind.
I selected fabrics from my growing Marcia Derse collection, and drafted some small line figures and card stock patterns, and got going... creating a group of ten figures with BLANK faces - unknown but collective friends I may know, but perhaps are gathered somewhere about the world during these pandemic days. What are they considering - "QUESTIONING, What's Next". Africa has billions of humans who have not even seen a vaccine... no shots in arms, no outdoor vaccination centres, drive-throughs, health unit walk-in centres... AND SO MANY LIVES WERE LOST TO THE PANDEMIC..
The people gathered here in my workspace... each little figure a bit different and giving me the time to think about where we are, and who we could be if we just all pitched in to save the world!
The finish line was set by a "prompt sharing" on the 27th-31st of July, when each member of the collective shared their work and story on our blog: (have a good peek and enjoy all of the series and artwork, and if you have time, go into Rounds 1 and 2 and see what has happened as the artists worked through the various themes and prompts over the years.
Finally, I added a series of hand-stitches and may add more now that the piece is "finished and framed (and yes, I can do that now, filling empty spaces carefully by hand). Hope you enjoyed the story!
See you along the way - at my Studio 214D the TETT Centre for Creativity and Learning on W. King Street in Kingston, or here at the blog. I will try harder to get back to posting along the way! Hard to believe we are walking into August!