Tuesday, February 04, 2014

the Lucky Protection exhibition

How does this exhibition fit within the art world?  Why is it cloth and thread?  What are the things that only thread and cloth can do?

Cloth is fluid.  The blanket piece above covers an unwieldy display area.  The  fluidity of the cloth softens the hard edges in this white room.

The distress that this fabric has undergone over its long life is evident.  Probably it dates from the 20's - the laundry tag places it at an address that Ned's grandparents lived in during the 1930's.   This cloth is at least 90 years old.  My father is 90 years old.  
The moon is a measure of time.  Thread is like time, it stretches.
It is human nature to stop and gaze at a full moon.  No matter how many times we see it, the moon is always wonderful, always a miracle, floating there in the huge sky.  We stare at it.  We go into ourselves.
I think of the constancy of the moon and of women from earlier times looking at the full moon with the same emotional response that I have.  With the same reverence.
"this is not art" we tell ourselves.  The brain tries to tell the heart, but the heart doesn't listen.
The heart responds with ancient memories of cloth.  Of being wrapped as a new baby, of pulling a sweater over our heads, of doing up buttons on a wool coat.
 Thread can draw a line with all the freedom of a pencil, but with more intent because it is so slow.  Stitch by stitch to make these marks.  SEcond after second.  Minutes, hours, days, weeks.  All that time is caught with the threads.
 I am trying to give reverence to what has gone before, by connecting recycled hand touched textiles to the present day.  I use my hands to do this.
 I've been making sewn art for so long, that I forget that there are some people out there who are prejudiced against sewing.  I am surprised.
 With this exhibition, I am defending sewing.  Sewing is art.
Hey Jude, Remember to let it under your skin, then you'll begin to make it better.  (Paul McCartney)

All images are of original sewn art by Judy Martin, on display in the exhibition entitled Lucky Protection that is the featured art display at Artists on Elgin, 168 Elgin Street, Sudbury, Ontario for the month of February 2014. 705 674 0415

The text is from the artist's talk on February 1.
The gallery made a video that documents the entire exhibit. 


  1. Gosh Judy, I want to see these in person. wow wow wow.

    1. Thanks Christine. Your wows mean a lot to me.

  2. So beautiful; simply profound. Sacred! Would be lovely to see (would have difficulty NOT TOUCHING! Bravo!
    With much admiration, MJF

    1. I think that you should be able to touch art.

  3. I hope this explanation is posted somewhere visitors can read it ..you have so clearly expressed why and what they might be feeling when they see this beautiful, soul filled work

  4. Yes, Deb.
    I put a black hard covered journal in the exhibition as a guest book, for people to sign in and give their responses.

    The first 30 or so pages of this book have these words hand written. Just a few on each page...so that it you could open it anywhere, and find a thought.

    Leaving my thoughts there for people to pick up and touch...it's the best I could do.

    thank you so very much for this comment.

  5. Anonymous8:22 AM

    I couldn't agree more: Sewing is Art.
    This exhibit is beautiful. Wish I could see it.

  6. such a stunning body of work & words Judy! you just go from strength to strength quietly tenderly gently

    1. Mo, I treasure your comments. So generous.

  7. as i follow your blog, this gift you share, the way you express and live, make, i fall in love more and more with the work. Your voice is strong!

    1. another very generous comment. Thank you v much.xx

  8. Anonymous4:41 AM