Friday, April 17, 2015

What Do You Think About Altered Quilts?

Barbara Brackman's got an interesting post today on "altered quilts:" 

Vintage pieces (and apparently mostly bits and pieces) that modern artists add lettering to, recut and stitch, collage, mix and so on.

Here's one example: Natalie Chanin's Aunt Mag's Chicken Recipe


Here are two more, from Gina Adams:



Exhibits are up at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art through May 10. (Kansas)

I've never been a big fan of "cut 'em and paste 'em" requilting -- partly because I had a good friend who would cut up perfectly good quilts and tops to make clothing (mostly jackets), which she then sold to upscale boutiques and such. We had many good-natured arguments on the subject, and I bought a piece now and then to save it from her overenthusiastic scissors.

BUT -- 

If the quilt is heavily damaged already, it doesn't seem that awful to preserve it in another way. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that some of these artists have the quilt or the original quiltmaker in mind -- only their 'personal message' or  'artistic vision.' Kind of like trampling your grandmother, then justifying it because the old girl didn't have long to live. She would have been okay with it, anyways, because she always put your best interests first. (Or so you reason to yourself.)

I want to respond in horror all the time, for every piece...then I come across a totally lovely melding, like Mandy Patullo's Across the Wide Ocean...



...and I just can't.



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