I started this project in response to a call for abstracts for the next conference of the Textile Society of America, Textiles & Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyberspace. I saw this as an opportunity to investigate the quilt medium from a different angle.
I have chosen three quilts by three Australian quiltmakers: Love Will Nail You To The Cross (1995-1997) by Judy McDermott, The Lost Bird Series (2006) by Pamela Fitzsimons and, Reconfiguring The Wall (2006) by Emma Rowden.
Each of these quilts is associated with a specific site: 'Long Bay Gaol' (Sydney NSW), the Bow Wow Gorge (lower Hunter Valley, NSW) and, 'Callan Park Hospital for the Insane' (now, 'Sydney College for the Arts', Sydney NSW). For this study each quilt is also linked with a blog site: The Big House, About Time and, Reconfiguring The Wall. Three blogs which are are stand-alone but also linked to each other and to this, the original blog set up for this project.
Their theory prefigured but can also be used to describe the structure of the internet (boundless,without distinctions, blurs differences, rhizomatic, connective, open ended, generative).
Thus the use of the internet is also fundamental to this project. D & G use the patchwork quilt as an illustration of their theory of smooth space, so my question is not: does the structure of the quilt resemble smooth space? but can their ideas open up other spaces for conceptualizing the quilt and the processes of quiltmaking? And testing this through the use of the process of blogging.
I see myself not as objective observer but as an active participant in this project. It is for this reason I have framed the project in terms of 'performance': a 'frame' that is not fixed but shifts - more conversation than statement - just as this blog seeks to open up other connections rather than arrive at a definitive answer.
Images: (Top) Love Will Nail You To The Cross (1995-1997) photographer A Payne
(Middle) The Lost Bird Series (2006) photographer D Barnes
(Bottom) Reconfiguring The Wall (2006) Photographer E Rowden