Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quilts

I went to see the quilts today at the V&A with my friend Joan, who works nearby at the Royal College of Art.
It is a fantastic exhibition and very popular: unfortunately we arrived at the same time as what appeared to be a coach party of opinionated grey-coiffed ladies, all very tall and assertive.
But the exhibition itself was inspiring, with some beautiful and touching work. Joan commented that it was all based on systems, a sort of art that is often associated with ruffty-tuffty macho artists. The mathematical precision was extraordinary, sometimes taking a full day to calculate and realise. There were quilts there by men too- a lovely one that took a tailor eighteen years to make and that was peppered with moral thoughts, and a collaborative effort from inmates at Wandsworth prison (unfortunately not given a full showing the the catalogue: perhaps it wasn't ready in time).
Some of them were funny; many had hidden details that you only saw up close.
It's very pertinent at the moment, particularly given the need for recycling, for of course they are all made from unwanted scraps of material, and they are as evocative of different eras as samples used on hip hop recordings that live again in a completely new context.

1 comment:

frayedattheedge said...

Oh .... I am so jealous - I would love to see the exhibition!! We quilters do have a saying - 'when life gives you scraps, make a quilt'