Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A first time in Houston

Everybody talks about the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I haven’t been there, yet. (Though I hope to go, perhaps in two years’ time.) But this year a quilt of mine was there, for the first time.
The quilt I am talking about is “o(rounD)moon,” – watch out for the strange spelling! – which is part of the SAQA exhibition text messages that just opened at Houston and is supposed to be travelling now.
My inspiration for this quilt comes from e.e.cummings, and I have already postedthe poem that is depicted on the quilt here
My story with e.e.cummings goes back to my school days, when I found his poem “l(a” in one of my English text books, although I can’t remember which year.  We never talked about the poem, but because I had been to the States before and was so fluent in English that I usually had to spend most of the lesson time trying to hide my boredom I read every single line and page in that book several times, and immediately fell in love with this poem once I had figured it out.


Probably it was better for this little love affair that we did not talk about it in class...
Later, when I returned to the States (that was the time before book ordering via internet) I was happy to find “a selection of poems” by e.e.cummings, and even copied some more from the Complete Poems, typing them on a type writer, to maintain the typographic impression!

When I was thinking about what to use as text message on my piece for text messages I pretty quickle decided I wanted to do something with e.e.cummings, and I thought I remembered an opening line of a poem that would have been fun to do. However, it was not in my selection, I had not copied it, and so I had to do an order for an interlibrary loan. Leafing through the big volume once it arrived, I realized that my memory had cheated me, the line I had thought of was different from what I remembered, and not as suitable. So I went through the book some more and finally chose o(rounD)moon, which is short enough that the whole poem could be put on the quilt. 

o(rounD)moon, 2013

For the marking of the moon I printed out a NASA picture of the moon’s surface and copied the outlines onto my fabric as quilting lines – sort of.

o(rounD)moon, (2013) - detail

The full text of the poem is included on the piece in tone-on-tone machine stitching, though the impression for the viewer from a ‘normal distance’ is as if s/he were looking at the night sky with a full moon, the message being only subconsciously received. Beauty and meaning, of course, lies in the eyes of the beholder.

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