Monday, February 3, 2014

Life after 20/12

Leave My Land Alone
my last 20/12 series quilt
After the 20/12 series finished and my fellow Twelves decided not to do another group challenge right away, I confess I felt a little bereft. The great thing about the Twelves is that we were a cohesive group and all of us were there right to the end. So embarking on a 'solo' career was a little daunting and I wandered a little trying to find an identity as an artist that was not so inextricably bound up with being a Twelve.

I think I am getting there and part of that has been dusting the cobwebs off my Helen Conway Design website and moving my rejuvenated blog over there. If you want to update your links and follow my blog at I'd love to see you over there.

Looking forward, Diane Perin Hock and I are starting a duo project  with a reveal at the end of this month (watch this space for details). Personally I have been working on two series. One  of maps of a township in South Africa Called Joe Slovo and one about Brick Lane in London which is part of a body of work on the theme of Transition with a newly formed group called Etcetera (Web site under construction - watch this space again!) It has been good to build relationships in the flesh with quilters I can actually meet and eat cake with.
Brick Lane
I have a bad tendency to make a quilt and move on and not to recognise that the art is lasting, as is its effects on people. Today I had a lovely reminder of that when a UK quilter commented on a SAQA UK Yahoo group about the quilt she had made for the SAQA Trunk Show. She said that I had given her the motivation to make her current quilts because of the way I highlighted social issues in my Twelve by Twelve quilts. I certainly didn't make them with a view of influencing anyone else but I am delighted that the Twelve by Twelve project continues to inspire in a way none of us thought possible when we started out.

I say that not to brag but to encourage you. Whatever stage you think your art is at, put it out there and you will be surprised how the ripples of inspiration spread. By giving me that compliment the SAQA member entirely unknowingly validated some of the conclusions I had come to in my journal recently about where I want my place in the quilting community to be. So, whether you be a newly art quilter or a long established master, please contribute to the online discussions and lets all keep making each other surer and more confident artists.