Tomorrow is photographing day. I have 2 pieces I'm going to submit to Form Not Function (deadline is this Saturday, the picture above is not one of them, just thought I needed a photograph in the post). Even though these 2 pieces are complete I still find myself talking to them in a way that deepens my understanding of what I was attempting to do and weighing if I succeeded...success is defined as full excavation (thanks to Grace for using this word yesterday...a light bulb went off for me) of an idea and my emotional response to it while in the process. Here is a sample of some of the questions I ask:
- Did I short change my thoughts and emotions by not full pushing the technique to communicate them back to me?
- Was/is there a better approach that would have expressed myself better?
- What ideas and emotions and associated images did I discard and keep and why?
- What works? What doesn't? and why?
I cannot get away from describing what I do as "abstracting emotion". For myself, it is of no value to me for a viewer to understand or relate to the idea/and emotions that I abstracted while planning and creating a quilt. I want viewers to walk into a piece on their own terms...if they like it, I love it; if they love it; then I've found a member of my tribe. Somewhere on line I came across an artist (can't remember who it was) whose statement was "if you like, then it is art; if you don't, then it is not". For me this is a more open and honest approach...I'm free to do what I need to do and stay in my head, heart, and soul while putting a quilt together and the viewer gets to relate to the piece and me on their terms as well. Win-win. Kinda. Because then from there I go into thinking about culture and gender and myself as an artist and weighing if I've challenged in someway either myself or others to ask questions or perceive ideas differently. Most of the time I try to provide "hints" in the title, but that is the writer in me, and do the words become an extension of the visual image?
I become more philosophical when I'm charged with writing an artist statement...I'll settle my mind after the weekend but then I have 2 other deadlines next month ;)