Friday, November 30, 2012

Colour of the month
















This has been a difficult month for „Colour of the month“. We have been subjected to several weeks of consecutive fog, which not only dulls all colours so that you have to make a special effort to perceive any colour at all, but it also saps my life energy completely. So although blue is really an easy colour to find a few more pictures were taken from my files than I would have expected. But on those few days when we did have a bit of sunshine, or when I went out of town to get into the sun, the project proved just as vital as in the first ten months of the year. Colour is a wonderful topic for daily art!
On the positive side, “Colour of the month” (and my earlier Daily Art projects) was/were featured on the  Make something 365&Get Unstuck blog on November 20th.
As snow and winter are supposed to be rolling in, I am curious how the colour purple will do in the Christmas season...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Made in Bangladesh

Two fires in three days, 112 people killed and over 200 wounded (according to Campaign for Clean Clothes) because of lack of emergency exits, or locked gates. 

photo from Süddeutsche Zeitung
The victims are mostly women. Women working as seamstresses in textile factories. They were sewing for western clothing companies. Large names – US companies, German companies, Dutch companies – all well-known for their ‘bargain prices’. Bargain prices which still are mostly the company’s gains. Not more than one percent of what we pay for bargain T-Shirts of let’s say 4,99 (doesn’t matter whether we are paying dollars or euros or pounds) goes to the workers.
It is because of the companies’ lack of concern that factories in Bangladesh or Pakistan do not have sufficient fire emergency protection, or insufficient working conditions with too many people working in one room, too few emergency exits. But it is because of our, the consumers’ decision, to keep buying with these companies that these conditions prevail. We want to “save” money when buying clothes. What we are really doing is risking the lives and health of other people, so we can save a few pennies. 
Is that worth it? Is that the kind of clothes we want to be wearing?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Featured, part II

After being in the newspaper with my quilting, I have now also been featured on the blog Make Something 365 & Get Unstuck, this time with my Daily Art Projects.

I had submitted my projects to the blog on Kathleen Loomis' suggestion and soon got a positive reply from Noah. Then Sandy hit, and perhaps that's why the blog wasn't updated for almost three weeks during which I kept returning to the blog only to see this wonderful elephant by Sheila Singhal.

 but now it is back  in the swing. Check it out - it is a wonderful pool of ideas. I have been following it backwards since Kathy brought it to my attention.
As the year is nearing its end I had been wondering wether I would take up another daily art project immediately after finishing the current "Colour of the month", or whether I would take a break. Now I feel very inspired to keep doing another one and already have two ideas and have to decide - either on one of them, or to do both. We'll see.

Monday, November 19, 2012


A little more than a week ago I was featured in a full front-page article appeared in our local paper. The interview had taken place a couple of weeks earlier, and I was really pleased with how the reporter presented the quilt scene, the art-handicraft problem and the international outlook that I have taken during the past couple of years.

The article hasn’t really resulted in a whole lot of responses – about five or six people have talked to me about it, they are not a talkative race here. But I felt really good when I read it. Great boost to get back into a real working mood. 
And it is working already: Yesterday I got a special kind of commission. A minister has ordered four stoles which he wants to wear with his cassock. That is going to be an interesting and challenging kind of work!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Surprise in the mail

Last week, just as I was getting ready to order a copy of the latest publications by SAQA, I received a package. The contents were a pleasant surprise: a copy each of Portfolio 19, and of Seasonal Palette.

Cover of Portfolio 19

Cover of Seasonal Palette

Together with a sheet of paper thanking me for my hard work and continued support of SAQA. What a nice way to say thank you!
I had an interesting evening. It began with looking at the single images by the Professional Artist Members of SAQA. With some names I thought “see there, she is PAM, too”. With many others I would have sort of expected to find her in the book.

My favorite quilt depicted in Portfolio was Virginia AbramsReflections 10: Sailboat Docking

Her webpage has a nice gallery with water-inspired quilts which you can see here .

Then Seasonal Palette, with its wide tour through global impressions of the colors of the seasons. Interesting that the book imitates the format of the quilts in its shape, I really like that idea. I would have liked to see much more of the material of the process of the making that the artists supplied for the exhibition. As it is, that part is too small in the catalogue for my taste, especially for people who do not get to see the exhibition for real. But I am happy to have the books and that I thus get see the pieces.
My favorite in the Seasonal Palette?
Can’t decide between Jenny Hearn’s “Reflections of Summer” (from South Africa!) and Kathleen Loomis’ “Big Ice” (from Antarctica).

Jenny Hearn, "Reflections of Summer" in
SAQA's Seasonal Palette

Kathy Loomis' "Big Ice" in
SAQA's Seasonal Palette

Which doesn't necessarily say anything about my favorite time of the year...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Little escap(ad)e: Pop Art Design in the Vitra Museum in Weil

About two and a half weeks ago I saw the announcement and review of the opening of a new exhibition in the Vitra Design Museum in Weilclose to Basel in Switzerland, though still on the German side of the border:  Pop Art Design.

Verner Panton's Swimmingpool (1969) for the
Hamburg publishing house of Spiegel magazine
illustrated the report in the paper that caught my
Despite the fact that I have been to Weil pretty regularly as one of my best friends lives there and I try to visit her frequently, I had never actually found my way into that museum. Usually I had been more tempted by the exhibitions in the Fondation Beyeler, which is just across the Swiss border, about a 10 minutes’ walk from my friends’ house. Last week, however, I took the chance and went to the Vitra.
The building already is an impressive sight:

Outside, Vitra elephants are asking not to be fed:

And you could already get a first good look at Andy Warhol’s Floating Clouds:

Andy Warhol, Floating Clouds
The mural of "Leonardo Studio 65" from 1963 leads you into the exhibit, which does not attempt to give the overall view – historic, sociological and aesthetic aspects of the times of Pop Art. 

Instead, it concentrates on the fact that many of the Pop Art Artists first worked as designers before they became recognized as artists. That lowered the psychological barriers. Consequently, no other art movement was influenced by “design” as much as Pop Art was. The artists wanted to get art out of those high and mighty spheres, make it an element of every-day life. So they turned to advertising – ad-slogans, packaging and objects of everyday life were turned into and suddenly qualified as art.

Photography was not allowed inside the museum, so I took these photos of my favorite items on display from the internet.

Andy Warhol, Brillo Box (1964)

Andy Warhol, Close Cover before striking (1962)

Oyvind Fahlström, Esso LSD (1967)

George Nelson, Marshmallow (1956)

Gaetano Pesce, Moloch (1970) -
not sure that I would want to receive my
reading light from this one...

An exhibition well worth seeing. Unfortunately, the catalogue is rather expensive - € 69,90 for a paperback is in my opinion an outrageously high price.

Next door to the museum is the Vitra House, where you can spend hours looking at wonderful furniture and dreaming about how you want to decorate your house if you had lots of room and money.

Lots of nice stuff in the shop, too, but I resisted completely, went into total comsumer-boycot, just looking.