Yes, I am sorry, but, despite the fact that I am delighted we have a new series and a theme and despite the fact that I am eager to get going, I am dilemma ridden. I will save one confusion for another day but let me ask you,Twelves and Readers alike, should the subject of a work of art be obvious to a viewer or need it only be in the recesses of the artists mind? Is the answer different when the work is made for a themed collection?
Let me more specific. I recently found an affordable (ish) copy of the award winning and out of print African Ceremonies by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. It is a two volume book in a slip case, weighs about the same as a six year old, and is full of lucious photos. Photos from it are also available in two different condensed versions which are genuinely affordable if anyone is interested.
I am reading the chapters about initiation ceremonies and about how inititates in some tribes are taken into the bush or the jungle and put through ceremonies which render them first helpless like young children again and then allow them to be ' reborn' as men. Metamorphosis in other words. The tribal body art and costumes are endessly Inspiring to me.
But if I made a quilt based on how those photographs translate into something else in my head, I doubt the viewer would look at it and, without a description, say," Oh, yes, metamorphosis". Or even " Oh, an initiation ceremony." I would hope they would see African / tribal / body art. And I think with a short statement the link would be crystal clear.
Normally, if the viewer found my art visually appealing and if it evoked somekind of emotional reaction in them I would be delighted and not care less if they understood that it was all about my interpretation of metamorphosis. In fact if they thought it was about something entirely different I would be delighted to hear their interpretation.But, if this quilt is to be part of a group of quilts all on the same theme, should my interpretation be clearer? Do you disagree with me that the art does not fail if it does not always convey the message the artist had in mind? Do you favour explanatory statements with quilts or not? Are you even awake and still reading?