Monday, 22 March 2010

Modern quilts

As well as all the quilts from the past there were quite a few modern quilts in the exhibition, some of which had been especially commissioned. These were interesting, thought provoking, beautifully made but for me, apart from one, they didn't have the emotional impact of the older quilts. I loved the randomness of quilts that had been slowly put together as fabric became available; the imperfections and 'ordinariness' of some of the quilts, that had clearly been made by people just like me; the homeliness of the quilts that had been made out of necessity. The modern quilts just didn't have that pull.
From quilts
Grayson Perry's 'Right to Life' was made in 1993, during the American abortion debate. The more you looked at this one the more disturbing it became.
From quilts

From quilts
This is a pair of quilts by Jo Budd, the top one is called Winter/Male and the lower one is entitled Summer/Female. They are absolutely huge and made with hand dyed and distressed fabrics.
From quilts
I loved this one. It's called Liberty Jack, made by Janey Forgan. She's used a range of Liberty cottons to make a quilt that questions what it is to be British.
From quilts
This is part of a quilt called At the End of the Day by Natasha Kerr; she's used a family photograph. It's a complex quilt, with many layers of meaning, that you really need to see to appreciate.

From quilts
This was the quilt that moved me the most, and I'm cross that I didn't get a photograph of it, or take photographs of details from it, but we were coming to the end of our time and the exhibition was due to close and we still had several quilts to see. So this is a photograph taken from a postcard. The quilt was made by inmates of Wandsworth Prison and each hexagon depicts an aspect of prison life, from a scream to friendship. I wish I could show you more.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the quilts from the exhibition, though this is by no means all of them. If you live within reach it's well worth making the effort to get there to see them for yourself.

Tomorrow I'll show you the fabric that I bought, and start to pick your brains for ideas of what to make!


Amelia said...

I like the older traditional quilts much better than these new
"modern art" looking ones...yes, the one depicting anti-abortion is very disturbing...don't like it one bit...I could not have been able to look at that fabric at all.

Have a great week.

Clare said...

I've just been listening to Womans Hour on Radio 4. Sue Pritchard and someone else took Jane Garvey round the quilts. They talked about the anti-abortion one and the Wandsworth prison one.

Is there a photo of the latter anywhere on the V&A site?

Lynn said...

I agree with you and Amelia, that is disturbing, it looks as if a lot of work went into it though. Imagine the quilter's mindset when she made it. Yes disturbing is right. I loved some of the ones from yesterday. Really it was a treat going to this exhibit (and you sharing it with us). Helps to make the public aware of quilts as and enduring art form.

Bec said...

I fully understand what you are saying. I can't really see these modern quilts on beds or being snuggled with on the lounge, they are more works of art.