Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Community questions

As always, I've loved seeing how we all interpreted this theme -- and I've been thinking about each of our responses to the same idea. I've noticed that most of us have included (either in the pieces or in our description of our processes) some ambivalence about community... Some level of discomfort or sadness or feelings of exclusion or tension...

And that has got me thinking about how, as fiber artists, we have various communities to share our work but we essentially work alone as we create. Art is essentially a solo activitity -- so I wonder whether the fact that we are doing this work in the first place, and clearly value the solitude that is necessary for this sort of creativity, influences our feelings about community?

I guess I've been wondering if you took any 12 random people and asked them to express their feelings about the concept of community, whether you'd get the same sort of conflicting feelings that our pieces reflect?

Or does this say something about us in particular?


Nikki said...

There may be something particular about us. I know that most of my friends would have a different take on community. They are much more connected, but I think there still would be some sense that things aren't as they should be.

The contrast in our feelings versus what one would traditionally think of as women quilting is interesting. I tend to think of the quilting bee and women coming together.

Slight alienation may be related to the desire to break the rules and break away from the traditional. Maybe they just go together?

Kristin L said...

I think it is human to want to belong; we are social animals after all. But, as we are also individuals, no one is going to feel completely comfortable in every situation. I actually think everyone feels what we've expressed -- to one extent or another, it's just that we, as artists, can probably express it better or deeper (that's why society NEEDS to support it's artists, so we can reflect and interpret the zeitgeist).

Apropos of none of the above, I do know that the particular feelings I wanted to reflect in my piece for this challenge have less to do with my artist/hermit tendencies and more to do with ingrained culture and language issues I've experienced throughout more than a decade of living abroad.

Anonymous said...

Kristin, I agree. I think just about everyone feels like this. I think most people would describe themselves as somewhat misunderstood. I know that my quilt has a very Pollyanna view of community - a reflection of my own idealism rather than what I see around me.