Sunday, November 18, 2012

World of Threads: Art Quilts

Kit Vincent, "Lift"
Art quilts (two or three layers with stitching, say) formed a small part of the work on display at this year's World of Threads Festival.

Of the photos I took, Kit Vincent's works would perhaps qualify as the most obvious representations of this art form. Kit uses hand-dyed cloth and stitch to make abstract, complicated, visually-layered work.

The variation of colour achieved by hand-dyeing adds depth to the imagery. Kit skillfully constructs ghost-like layers of machine stitch, offset from the solid cloth shapes, to create a sense of movement. As the coloured thread moves from a matching background to a contrasting background, transparencies are revealed.

Kit Vincent, "Bel Canto"

Remarkably, Kit's work appears to be pieced in a traditional way, with no raw edges or evidence of fusing.

Four of Kit's beautiful, highly-coloured works were on display at the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, as part of the "Variegated Threads" show.

Micaela Fitzsimmons, "The Road Home"

In the same venue, Micaela Fitzsimmons uses traditional piecing techniques, but introduces paint or ink with printed imagery to add a new element.

Judy Martin, "Light of the Moon"

Judy Martin had several works in different shows. This piece on the right has some elements of the traditional quilt, including a grid-like visual structure. Additionally, paint, couching, hand-stitching and buttons are used to add layers of visual interest.

Judy's work often features a large circle motif.

Jennie Wood, "Silent Past, Future Fear"

Jennie Wood introduces raw-edge appliqué in her take on the art quilt. Also, paint, paper, lutradur and image transfer add to the complexity of the piece at left.

Susan Strachan Johnson, "Journey"

Finally, one of my favourite pieces in the whole Festival, the painterly "Journey" by Susan Strachan Johnson, shows an art quilt that has moved well into the realm of mixed media. Saved from being overly-sweet by some darker overtones, this work employs subtle layering, stitch and found objects to make a poignant statement. 

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