Thank you, Asheville Art Museum, for providing such a thought provoking exhibit. Art/Sewn, an exhibit featuring textile arts ranging from art quilts to sculpture, has given me food for thought and creativity. I have been able to view it several times and am very grateful for the opportunity.
One of the creative ideas haunting me lately is the pursuit of meaning behind creative works. The question “WHY” haunts me lately, as I examine my creative life. Honestly I have not always asked this or any question of my creative life, content to simply enjoy it. Not so now, though. A certain restlessness seems to be stirring in me, my work…
The same question seems to have been asked by the artists in this show. Or at least I felt so. I suppose that the unconventional use of traditional materials, and the willingness to follow a creative path to something original and strange, is a material sign of an artist challenging traditional forms and meaning. That is not new, of course. But it has resonance for me.
One artist in particular inspired me with her work. Denise Burg’s quilt “Machination” hung close to the entrance, commanding my attention. The quilt depicts an emotional scene of fuel being taken form a mountaintop, despoiling the environment in this local area. Of course I connected to her emotions on this subject. Her techniques and use of color spoke to me beyond just this subject.
In a field of vibrant bright colors, deep black anchors the composition and gives it weight. Beyond the technical demands of composition, though, the black has a mystery. It alone contains a place for the darker and sadder questions I have been asking- I understood the power of her combination of vibrant colors and black when I felt that resonance.
Denise Burg’s quilt may been seen on her website www.myoriginaldirt.com. Her site had a wealth of inspiration for me; her work speaks to me very strongly. All of the textile works in her Images category moved me; the quilt I saw in Art/Sewn is the last one in her gallery.
Her work has given me much food for thought, and spurred me on with a struggling project.