Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Returning to and from Abilmente

Many years ago I had my first international solo show at the Abilmente Crafts fair in Vicenza. This year I returned there in my role as International Representative with a group of other EQA colleagues. This is the place where I had that show, up on the pedestal between the columns.

This time around EQA presented and stewarded a collection of two quilts from each European Guild as the organizers of the show want to enhance their patchwork segment of the show.  I arrived too late to help in the hanging, as a special security pass was needed and I did not have one. So I immediately on a short trip to the old inner city, taking the bus just opposite from the hotel.


As an honorary member of the SAQA Special Interest Group 'Gelato'
I had to do a testing of this opportunity that arose...

And well that I did take that trip because the next days were long, opening hours from 9.30 am until 6.30 pm., and it rained heavily, which would have made it rather uncomfortable to go into town.

View down onto one of the vending halls from the upper floor
(where there was a very good café with exceptionally good coffee!)

We were given a strategically well placed exhibition space between the two vendors’ halls, a lot of people were passing through! The selection of quilts was supposed to be a couple of the quilts that had been part of the EQA’s 30th anniversary exhibition “Threads without Borders”. But some countries chose to select other artists to spread the option of exhibiting, or because they had not even been represented in that original exhibition at all.

Here you can see a couple of photos of the exhibition.



The group of EQA representatives that were assembled were a lot of fun to work with, and I really enjoyed spending time with them. 


One suitcase had been lost in transit and arrived only toward the end
of the 2nd day, at which point discussions ensued as to where to put up the quilts
that had been missing at first.

We had many conversations about the future development of EQA and its needs, but mostly ‘on the side’, as the main concern this time was the presentation of this particular show. It was not a working meeting as we used to have in Birmingham.

Of course, memories from my first encounter with the public came back – it was the first place where I had seen visitors pulling trolleys to hold their purchases as on a market at home. Before that I had never seen that at a quilt show in Germany. 


But it also brought back vivid memories of the struggle to keep the many many many people from touching, caressing, turning, inspecting and picking on the quilts. The nature of the show is mostly oriented towards vending materials for multiple types of crafting, where, of course, anybody who wants to buy something touches what they are considering buying. The lack of other exhibitions on the premises makes it hard to understand for the mostly-buyers that this particular exhibition space in the hall is a non-touch area. And when they touch, turn over, scratch the pieces it is a sign of interest, I do understand that. But it’s hard to be standing guard there and telling people to keep off in a languge you don’t really know – although those few words necessary I did remember right away. And when quilts with these characteristics are displayed, it is simply asking for trouble!

Wouldn't you want to flip these up, too?

This type of fringes, of course, is asking to be stroked.

Pointed insertions like this need to be inspected, preferrably
by scratching with your fingernails...

This one was the most endangered piece - the lower left hand corner,
but also a close inspection of the crochet branches attached...

We learned – bring white gloves next time!

But the food was delicious, 


the group vibes fantastic and it should be interesting to see what kind of relationship the EQA will establish with this organization in the long run. Perhaps we will be going to Vicenza on a more regular basis.

And then next time one might consider looking into acquisition of some local special products!

Murano glass display at Venice airport