Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Waiting Game

Over the last month or so, there's been chatter on the on-line quilting groups about the rules of some exhibitions against posting images of completed artwork.  Since compliance is taken very seriously most everyone agrees that posting images, even to your own website, can jeopardize your chances with Quilt National, given how easy it is for folks to poach pictures from websites and/or blogs.  Recently, Karey Bresenhan asked that folks refrain from posting images of their quilts along with an "I Got In!" announcement.  Karey's intent was to help IQF-Houston judges from being biased from an accidental encounter with an image on the internet.

I've not submitted to Quilt National, so I haven't had to wait potentially two years to post a picture of my work -- though from the sounds in the blog-o-sphere, a vast number of artists start working on their submissions in the few months preceding the deadline, so they're not waiting that long either.  But in any event, you know those are the rules when you consider entering a piece to QN, so I haven't had much sympathy for the situation.... until now.

I recently completed a piece I think is one of the strongest I've ever made.  I made it for the on-line group, Crossing the Line: Artists at Work (CLAW) which Karen Musgrave is spearheading. For our first group exhibition, we each made an artwork inspired by a woman (someone without a lot of name recognition) we felt had made a mark in history.  I chose Margaret Bourke-White, a pioneer in photography and the first US female war correspondent in WWII, the first female staff photographer for Life Magazine,  and a champion for the poor and underprivileged through her images.   I want to share what I've created, get feedback, see if it strikes a chord with anone else as it has for me.....  but I can't.  Karen has asked that we not post full images of our artwork until the first exhibition has been booked.

Bummer.

I respect and agree with her point of view.  But for what I believe may be the first time in my experience, I'm disappointed I have to wait.  I have something to say and I want to start a dialogue using my art... but I can't right now.

This is much harder than I thought it would be.

So I have to change my perspective on the Quilt National rule and Karey and Karen's requests: I respect the rules, will honor the rules, but have to admit that I wish it could be different.

Detail of "Behind the Barbed Wire"
Inspired by Margaret Bourke-White's 1945 images from the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp


2 comments:

Kristin L said...

Ha! I agree with you. I understand the rules, I respect the rules, but it IS hard to wait. There's some momentum that I think gets lost in the waiting. I know I never have as much to say about work three or six months down the line. I've moved on by then. Granted, I don;t enter enough competitions for this to be much of an issue, but I've had to wait on enough things that I totally get your sentiment. Book publishing has a lot of the same hazards.

norma said...

Of course I want to see the whole quilt, that little detail with the barbed wire intrigues me, but I will be patient. I understand your frustration, but can also understand their rules about wanting fresh work that hasn't been seen anywhere else. And trust me, if you put it just on your blog, it is not safe. I was amazed to see how many of my quilts were on Pinterest, lifted from my blog or website.
I wish I had the work ethic and/or tenacity to make three Quilt National worthy quilts in the few months before the deadline as many are currently doing. That's not such a long time to wait. But I work at a snail's pace, especially if it's a big quilt. So I won't be posting pictures of a particular very big quilt on which I have been working. It can't be entered into QN, but I do want to try for some other big shows. It will remain under wraps for now.