Wednesday, November 26, 2014

World of Threads Festival: the Meditation panels and Not To Know But To Go On

earth ark  Judy Martin and community  2011  photo Klaus Rossler
The four meditation panels of the Manitoulin Community Circle Project were displayed at the World of Threads festival from November 1 - November 30, 2014.

Judith e Martin was present at the opening on November 1.
mended world   Judy Martin and community  2012 photo Klaus Rossler
 It was difficult for Judy to get away from these hand stitched pieces made by many pairs of hands from recycled domestic materials.  So many of the artists and visitors to the exhibition's opening day wanted to speak with her about the experience of the circle project.

What impressed the visitors the most was the hand work.

So often these days, quilts of this size (each between 86 - 96" square) are pieced and quilted by machine.  That these pieces had evident hand stitches for construction and for quilting was remarked upon with awe over and over.
precious water   Judy Martin and community   2013 photo Klaus Rossler
 Other questions had to do with the community aspect of the work.  How was it organized?  How many people came each time?  How long were the sessions?  Did everyone work on the same thing each day, or did women choose what they wanted to work on?  Where did the re-cycled materials come from?  Who donated them?  (answers to these can be found here)
Many people wanted to share stories of their own experiences with community work and with their own treasured domestic fabrics.
layers of time   Judy Martin and community   2013 photo by Klaus Rossler
Judy did not get to visit the entire World of Threads exhibition on opening day because she was so busy talking about these beautiful panels.    Installed at eye level, the power and beauty of the hand stitching was close up and intimate for each viewer.

Judy was also invited to exhibit Not To Know But To Go On, the stitched journal she made over three years while the circle project was also going on.  (circle project took 4 years)

Not To Know But To Go On was one of the most popular installations at the world of threads festival 2014.
not to know but to go on     2013     photo by Frank Myers
This exhibition continues until November 30 in Oakville.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

500 traditional quilts - the exhibition in Texas

Something More Magical Than It Ever Was   1991   Judith e Martin
re-cycled family clothing, new silk, photo transfers, painted cloth, sequins, hand quilted
A log cabin variation  photo Mike McCormack

This quilt is part of the exhibition 500 Traditional Quilts that was mounted during the Ruby Jubilee celebration of the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas, October 29 - November 2, 2014.  This exhibition is just part of the huge festival.  The quilts in this exhibition are from the recent book, 500 Traditional Quilts published by Lark.

Here is the invitation from the quilt curator / book author Karey Bresenham

Your quilts Flesh and Blood and Something More Magical Than It Ever Was are so beautiful I hope you will allow us to consider them for still another opportunity to be appreciated by many quilt-lovers and for your fine work to be acknowledged by the quilt world…this time as part of a very special exhibit at the 40th anniversary of Houston’s International Quilt Festival this fall—the Ruby Jubilee of the largest quilt show in America, attended by more than 60,000 quilt lovers every year.  We are hosting 500 Traditional Quilts at Festival, the largest collection of traditional quilts we’ve ever shown, and we hope to possibly include your quilts as part of it!
Some of the other quilts will also show at the Texas Quilt Museum in Central Texas  January 8 - March 29, 2015

Flesh and Blood    2003  Judith e Martin
cotton, over dyed cotton, pieced, applique, polyester sheer, buttons, hand quilted
Ocean Waves variation    photo Sarah Warburton

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quilt Visions 2014: The Sky's The Limit

Yin Yin,  2013.....plant dyed linen, procion dyed velvet, button thread
This piece was juried into the important Visions exhibition.  It was one of thirty nine quilts.
Visions Art Museum, San Diego California,
This is the 13th biennial exhibition.  It was juried by Sue Benner, Patty Hawkins and Bruce Hoffman.
Judith e Martin's quilt, Yin Yin, won the Friends of Fiber Art International award.  This award was for the quilt which most reflects the universality of artistic expression.

The exhibition opened October 3 2014 and continues until January 5 2015.
There is a catalogue available.  Judy's piece is pictured on page 70 and 71.

Here is the statement beside Judy's work.

The title refers to the philosophy of yin and yang.
If yang is fast, yin is slow.
If yang is sun, yin is moon
Yang is my outer self, while yin is my inner.
yin yin side b
The first side of this small piece shows off the raw tactility of the wrong side of reverse applique dots, metaphors for our interesting, vulnerable inner selves.
The back of the piece, usually against the wall, is marked with the right side of those same dots.

My work explores the idea of inner self.
Humans have two sides, public and private.  With two 'wrong' sides this piece represents private and private.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Keynote Address, Espanola fibre festival

detail, Layers of Time  The fourth panel of the Manitoulin community circle project.  Materials:  re-cycled wool blanket, recycled lace doilies, linen damask, beads, french knots, cross stitch, back stitch, eyelet stitch, all by hand, completely constructed with hand stitch and quilted by hand.  Judith e Martin and community, 2013.
Earth Ark (left ) and Precious Water (right) installed in the Espanola United Church for the Espanola fibre festival
I’d like to speak tonight about the process of making .  I want to state my belief that making something slowly with one’s hands is perhaps one of the most nourishing things one can do.  Creating something from nothing – or better, creating something new from something no longer needed or wanted is healing for the planet and for us.   

The panels of the Manitoulin Circle project are now finished objects.  It seems that every few months they are invited ‘out’ and the women who made them and I are given a chance to re-visit them.  We re-consider them.  We reflect.  
The Marimekko secret back of Earth Ark in foreground, Layers of Time in background
These panels are different than my personal work.  They are larger.  They are more.  More hands, more touch, more laughter, more conversations, more personal trauma, more catching up on books or television series.  The process of making them is held within them, and is why the finished products seem so important.

I’m a dyer and I'm learning about local Manitoulin plant dyes.  I'm a stitcher and am attracted to work that is not only large in measurements, but also in length of time.  I like it when I can’t see the end of a project, and when I can’t touch the edges.   My work is about the  process of making it. 
Two women thinkers I’d like to remark on tonight.  The first is Sue Bender, author of a book called Plain and Simple, a woman’s journey to the Amish.  She lived with an Amish family for 6 months, and noted that the women treated everything they did as if it was a ritual.  Whether breakfast for the family or a stunning jewel toned quilt – everything was given respect.  Art making is connected to daily life. 
The second woman is a British metal smith who writes and thinks about slow craft as social change.  Her name is Helen Carnac.  Helen Carnac calls making things by hand and experiencing the nourishment that comes from creating for its own sake rather than for commercial purposes   a  social revolution‘.   I haven’t used those words before about hand work and am struck by them.
Marimekko secret back of Precious Water (foreground) and Mended World (background)
One week ago Friday Thanksgiving weekend, I was stitching by the fireplace.  It was raining outside.  I realized something.  I realized that ALL I really want to do is stitch.  All I want to do is hold cloth and mark it.  I love it so much.   I’ve been pretty busy with the career side of my work in the last month  - speaking about it, writing about it, promoting it on facebook, receiving awards for it, shipping it to exhibitions, getting it into urban commercial galleries so that more people can see it, perhaps buy it,  but in reality, that all comes second for me.  I just want to DO the work.   I just want to stitch.  The career stuff won’t be there anyway if the work didn't come first.  The work needs to be done, not just for itself, but for me.  For my emotional health.  I need to do it.  It’s who I am.  Last week on that rainy evening by the fire I stitched and realized that the process of the making is as important as the end result. 

The nice  thing about textile art is that it is possible for others to see the process.  It’s not as mystical as some other art media.  The process is evident.  The hand’s gesture is evident.  So go with that.  Take pleasure in what you do.  
Mended World, (left), Trinity (centre) and Layers of Time (right) installed in the Espanola United Church for the fibre festival.  Also notice the book of hands open on a table in near left of photo
My passion has always been stitch.  I've stitched nearly every day since I was about 8.  Stitching is a life-long love affair.  As I get older I worry less and less about making a product that others might like, and more and more about spending what time I have left to dye and stitch on a large scale.  I will be teaching the techniques of the project in Newfoundland next October, and have started to prepare for that.  It’s really challenging to fit four years of slow making and a life time of inspiration into a three day workshop that people will actually pay the craft council  of Newfoundland to take.  The prep is taking quite a bit of time but perhaps it’s like writing this speech.  Both make me look at the circle project again.   Re-considering how the panels went together and what the project meant is helping me to think through what and how I want my life to be like.  Artful.

I am ambitious and have the dream to be recognized for my stitching but it’s way too easy to let the career advancement become more important than doing the work.  Doing the work is the most important thing.  Take great pleasure in the doing.  Slow down, breathe, stitch, dye, knit or felt, whatever it is that you do, do it with respect.  Honour the experience. This is my motherly advice tonight.  

The above text is just part of Judith e Martin's keynote address to the Espanola Fibre Festival.  If you want to read the entire lecture, email Judy and make a request.
One of the nicest things that happened that evening was that several of the participants spoke spontaneously about their experience stitching with Judy. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Toronto representation: David Kaye Gallery

paradise meditation I,  2012
Judith e Martin is now represented by the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto.
 paradise meditation II, 2012
The four pieces in this post can be seen at the David Kaye Gallery and are available for purchase.
time dream memory: time 2014
Martin is also represented by the Perivale Gallery on Manitoulin Island during the summer months.
time dream memory: dream  2014
Please contact David Kaye gallery if interested in more information about one of these four pieces.

1092 Queen Street West
(entrance on Dovercourt)
Toronto, ON M6J 1H9

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October Awards

 Judith e Martin was awarded the Mary Robertson Textile Scholarship at the recent Craft Ontario awards ceremony in Toronto, October 9, 2014.  Above, Judy is shown accepting the award from executive director, Emma Quinn.
Martin also won an award for Yin Yin, pictured above, in the Quilt Visions: The Sky's The Limit exhibition in San Diego California, USA.  This occurred at the opening ceremony of that exhibition on October 11, 2014.  Yin Yin was awarded The Friends of Fiber Art International Award as the quilt that most reflects the universality of artistic expression.  Since its founding in 1991 FFAI has supported programs and exhibitions that educate and inspire the art collecting public about the virtues of contemporary fiber art.
Congratulations Judy!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

MFAA members exhibition at Centennial Museum

Time, Dream, Memory:  Mother   2014, van dyke print on hand made paper, vintage lace, vintage wool blanket, vintage wooden frame, silk threads, hand stitched, Judith e Martin
The Manitoulin Fine Arts Association members exhibition opens Saturday September 27, 2 pm - 4 pm.  The exhibit runs through until October 17, 2014.
Vulnerable 2008 wax, ink, sequins on paper, Judith e Martin
 The location is the Centennial Museum of Sheguiandah, Manitoulin Island.  The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 am - 4:30 during the fall.
Time, Dream, Memory:  Memory  2014  van dyke print on hand made paper, vintage wool blanket, silk threads, hand stitch, Judith e Martin
Judith e Martin is showing these three pieces in the MFAA members exhibition.