With all the visitors I have had this summer I have had a chance to take a big break from the studio. I am really happy with the past year. When I decided a year ago last March that I was going to enter five exhibitions I had no idea that they would open so many doors for me. Living in Cyprus those three years previous to my move back to Canada gave me lots of time to play and experiment and learn. It was time to get serious and start some substantial work.
All five pieces I designed and created were accepted and two even won awards. One of those 'A Lovely Place to Live – in an Apple Blossom' has won another award. I made several smaller quilts in between the larger ones because the ideas just kept coming. A major turning point for me was the trunk show I did for Mariners Quilt Guild this past spring. There were several moments when I would just scan across the audience of about 40 ladies and all of them were smiling. Big lovely smiles. That just gave me goosebumps. And confirmed that it was time to come out of the cocoon.
I have decided to continue with the larger exhibition pieces. They are the ones that gave me the most joy. The challenge of the design, choosing the materials and the techniques. The final embellishments. It is all like a dance full of color and texture. And passion. There is no doubt that I am very passionate about working with textiles. This is what I do.
I illustrated these three pieces while I lived in Bosnia for a year, from 2002 to 2003. I have in my mind's eye the colors and the approach but I've never really had the impetus to just get at it. I have a large art quilt on my wall that is still incomplete and I am itching to get back to. But an opportunity has surfaced where I may be able to work with these illustrations.
SAQA has a call for entry: A Sense of Direction: Sightlines. I am hoping this is what they are looking for but I am
going to work on these pieces regardless if I am accepted or not. What struck me the most about my feelings being surrounded by a city (Sarajevo) in ruins and a distrustfull people was the fact that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992 – 95 was among three faith groups: Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Serbian Orthodox.
The war involved three ethnic groups: Bosnians, Croatians and Serbians. Observers would remark that the three sides were of the same race, spoke the same language, and were distinguished only by their religion in which few even believed. Hard to make sense of what happened there but in these working drawings I have in mind to make an effort to unify them all once again. To hold them in the same place and give honor to all three.
And to especially honor all those who died in such a senseless waste of humanity.
I have incorporated all three religions in each drawing. The muslim mosques and grave markings. The ancient stecci, large carved square stones, are a symbol of Bosnia. In Sarajevo near Bascarjia within a one block radius there are a roman catholic and a greek orthodox church, a muslim mosque and a jewish synagogue. Even though the Jews were not targeted in the war I have included the Star of David.
'Sightlines' is about a horizon line that runs through the artwork, arriving and exiting at a certain point. This is a very exciting challenge to me and I can see that maybe it is the horizon line I create that is going to unify these three drawings.