Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Art of Joan Schulze Poetic Licence

A few days ago I asked my husband if he could give me an example of something that was obscure, his reply: "the way you look for connections between things when there aren't any".
But here is an example of something that has definite connections with this project. In November 2008, Joan visited me and asked me to write an essay to be included in a catalogue to her retrospective exhibition to be held in February 2010. By June this year the catalogue had become a book: The Art of Joan Schulze, Poetic Licence which will be published at the end of January and it will contain my essay, 'A Poetics of Cloth, Paper, Stitch and Line'.
But I know I still haven't explained how this project is connected to the overarching subject of this blog which focuses on a study of interconnections and the work of three quiltmakers: Judy McDermott, Pamela Fitzsimons and Emma Rowden.
In September 2000 I visited Judy in the old gold-mining town of Hill End, where she was the artist-in-residence at Haefligers' Cottage . Early the first morning and over a cup of tea, Judy asked me if I had seen the work of Joan Schulze (Judy had visited the States earlier that year and had bought a book of Joan's work, the first volume of The Art of Joan Schulze). As we looked through images of Joan's work together Judy suggested I could contact Joan as part of the research I was doing for my masters.
I 'googled' Joan when I got home and finding an email address, sent her an email. Within a couple of hours I had a reply and from Joan herself...And so a dialogue began: emails and letters, a first meeting in San Francisco when I visited Joan in her studio. Joan visited Australia the following year and Judy, Pamela and I (plus others) were in a workshop she gave at Lake Keepit near Tamworth.
Joan later selected an essay of mine to be included in another of her catalogues but this is the first time I have work published in a book , one with hard covers (although it is also to be published in softcover form).
So one thing leads to another and I have Judy to thank for introducing me to Joan's work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How can I keep my thoughts together?

I plan to write a post on my blog most days but my time gets scattered, int erupted, distracted and, thought unlike fragments, which can be collected and joined together again (I could say 'pieced' but I would give myself away here) to form a whole, if one that is incomplete and different from that first envisaged. An element of despair here--how ever will I keep myself together?
I have been thinking about 'embodiment' and this has more to do (at the start anyway) with issues raised for me in Emma's project on the Callan Park site. Emma recently sent me a draft of a paper she was to give (and has now given) at the University of Lincoln on 'Architecture and Justice'. Her PhD explores the concept of the 'virtual court': a system of justice which at its extreme could result in the business of 'the court' taking place in cyberspace (but I am not doing her considerable work justice here and I hope to explore it on more detail and, more accurately with Emma herself or perhaps she will do it for me!).

In her paper, she explores an individuals "embodied experience" in a court of justice unmediated by communication technology in comparison with the court mediated by communication technology: what she terms the "situated body" versus the "dis-located' body.

I see (well, definitely intuit) a connection between the court, the mental hospital (Callan Park) and the gaol (Long Bay--I had written 'of course' but even that needs further explanation) and thus Emma's quilt and those in Judy McDermott's Big House series...Connections with quilts in their material form and the idea of their structure being related to concepts of smooth space and the structure of cyberspace...And the blog as a series of fragments on similar and disparate topics. And remember I am looking for connections that are disparate, as well as, similar. Perhaps it is 'disparateness' (interestingly the spellchecker wants me to write 'desperateness' here, it may well have a point) which offers greater possibilities (certainly initially). But then one can never be certain.
I find my thoughts ricocheting between mind and body, concepts of sanity (losing ones mind), even the thought of posting a blog (that is writing something somewhere in the nothingness of cyberspace, or is the the something-know-not-what of cyberspace) but then letters get lost too.
Image: from my '26 Object Project' (2008)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quilting the Blog/Blogging the Quilt

After two months of experimenting with the process of blogging I realise that whereas cyberspace may well have share similarities in structure with the quilt, the process of writing a blog is a linear one and therefore does not offer the possibilities of a rhizomal structure as anticipated. I was also finding that this blog (quilted-out-of-space) is more of a journal of my thoughts and day-to-day encounters than explorations of the specific quilts which form the basis of this project.
This is where the idea of inter-linking a number of separate blogs comes from, thereby giving me, the writer the possibility of cross-referencing ideas in time and space between the different blogs.
So, I have set up: quilted-out-of-gaol, quilted-out-of-time and, quilted-out-of mind together with this first blog site, quilted-out-of-space.
Each of the three new blogs will focus on specific work by the three artists as well as seek out connections in terms of similarities and disparities between them.