I was good to talk with him and get more of an idea about the conceptual background of the project. I spent this morning looking at a lot of images on their website, or better on the website for Knitting Map Cork (www.knitting.ie). I got a good idea how much interaction with the public was involved, from the initial workshops, to the street event ‘The Knitting Piper of Cork’, to the mostly women sitting in the church in front of their station and creating this enormous piece of knitting.
At the end I asked Richard what is happening now with the MAP. He said it is in storage now; somewhat reluctantly he said they really hadn’t thought more about it, but it felt as if it had fulfilled its purpose. It somehow made me feel sad. I think it is the knitter in me, seeing all this wonderful knitting in this piece, carrying all the memories.
It is this aspect of conceptual art which makes me feel uncomfortable. What happens to all the work, the pieces, the material; what happens to all the stations they created for the knitters to sit and receive their information about the colours and the stitches?
There is a lot I do admire about the Map, the whole concept of involving so many people, mostly women of middle age, who otherwise are generally removed from public listing or viewing.
In Gareth Ballyn (evenfeed.weebly.com/) the resolve at the end was that the participant kept their piece of sewing. they made their piece, came together, shared their stories and showed what they had made together and took it home again. the process was the art.
to me this feels more organic. it was in comparison on a very small-scale to the knitting map. and Richard said that the process of making it, creating this temporary community, was the work , not so much the knitted piece. but it is left behind somewhere, it leave me with an unresolved feeling.
But this uneasiness is more of an indicator for me where I see my own integrity in my practice.I am a material girl and like making, love the feel of yarn in my hands, love the proud feeling when a piece is finished, even the sad feeling when the phase of the work in progress is finished and it is no longer the companion of my hands, when it becomes something else.
things to ponder about where I stand, another level of work in progress…………………………..
With these images I record the development of the Tapestry Embroidery, how it changes with its progress. there has been a fair amount of unpicking and stitching over going on, which is now invisible. as it would in a painting, if a painter would choose to keep her work and development more of a private journey. my images have always been a journey into my inner world , to unearth notions about where I am in my life. often I found that only in retrospect the images revile their message to me. my intent is more to chart my inner territories and take those how are willing with me on the journey. but as two people will tell a different story from the same event, because we do remember differently because we receive differently, I have no wish as to “prescribe” a meaning. if a dialogue occurs between the viewer and the images, if the image tells its story and the viewer is prepared to listen, then I communicatewith my work and telling a little story is all I am looking for.
I am moving away from a studio based practise like painting or printing towards a practise where I can work with people.
In the past I have been the most content when I was working in the print studio, which meant working with other people around me,
but since I have started to research for my dissertation about participation and textile, it has become more clear for me, that I see myself rather in taking part in collaborative projects or initiating my own projects.
Mark Leahy introduced me to the Even Feed project, which was curated by Gareth Ballyn.
Even Feed commemorated Issac Singer’s ( as in Singer, the sewing machine) 200 year birthday.
individual people and to groups took part: the brief was to create a piece of clothing from simple nature cotton fabric.
the art work was the whole project, the time they spend together sewing and sharing their stories, not the exhibition at the end of it.
this is a kind of work I feel at home with.
Sewing the wedding dress
Mark , who took part in this project, sewed a jacket his mother had sewn for his father 50 years ago.
he still had the original pattern and the recite for the material.
Both the old and the new technology takes time. while stitching is relaxing and even unpicking is not the end of the world, editing pages and post is a rather steep learning curve. It feels at times like reinventing the wheel! and then other blogs look so beautiful and easy!!! But I will persevere! I will take time to understand the technology, but I am really adement to write my blog as my on-line journal, documenting the progress of my embroideries and how they will evolve from first drawings, sketches, undergoing changes through Photoshop and then being either printed onto canvas or woven on the Jacquard loom at the Design centre at UCF College Falmouth.
Hopefully today I came a bit closer to understand how to edit photos on this blog.
this is my decision to work with my blog as an alternative way to a sketch book. Instead of cut and past literally with scissors and prit stich I prefer the version of using an on line blog.
I will gather my conceptual research, upload images from my work inprogress and add my thoughts and ramblings.