So…where were we?
I have gone back and forth about what should happen next in this space after this weekend’s activity. [In case you missed it, there was this (not safe for work) guest post on WhipUp that was quickly followed with this (not safe for work) clarification here on this blog.] Every comment was allowed through to the blog at the time but then I closed comments here because I did not want to feel I had to provide a forum for personal attacks. For the most part, the comments received here and in email have been thoughtful and I value them–whether positive or negative. Thank you for engaging in the conversation.
I think it best just to write this morning, making a list of some of the issues. We will likely return to these issues in some depth later on.
Kathreen posted a follow-up today. In it she address a couple of things. First, she states her opinion on how she uses the space on her site to talk about art. It’s true, this current post is shocking to some of her current readers and might have seemed out-of-character for her; however, it’s not and she points to some examples.
Second, she points out that quilts have for many, many years been considered art and particularly worthy venues for protest and politics. This revelation isn’t new, and yet there is a constant quilts-are-not-art vein of commentary that seems to deny a century or two of truth. Heck, there are even pornographic quilts (no provocative photos there) that were featured in Quilter’s Home magazine by editor Mark Lipinski back in 2009. Let your imagination run wild about the quilts. I assure you they were non-salacious artistic works worthy of the forum, despite the furor the article caused.
What about my quilt? As I mentioned, it was a personal emotional reaction to situation and made as catharsis. It is an artistic expression and there should be no doubt that it is an elementary-level intellectual exercise; there could be no more ham-fisted way to confront this situation using cotton. Indeed, the use of the profanities in art is not new but it is new to the online quilting communities, it seems.
What now? Like I said, I will bring up some of these issues–art quilts, language, and race–again. Don’t expect me to revert to start making only Sunbonnet Sue quilts–well, unless I finally figure out how to outfit her as a vampire slayer. I will continue to make quilts that are meaningful to me and, when it feels right to do so, I will even share those projects with you in this venue. Those quilts are almost always going to be scrappy non-inflammatory patchworks. Visit again if you’d like to see more and if you’d like to engage in constructive conversation.
Come back later in the week for a few more f*ck blocks and a new non-controversial colorful handknit blanket! As always, the applied i-cord is a slog, but it’s a nice meditative respite right now.