Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Area Exhibit Opening Part 2

But wait, there's more.

I hear there were somewhere around 120 works submitted; two selectors selected 66 works; my friend Nancy, who didn't submit any work, helped the selection process, and told me it was objective, fair, and impressive. Another judge awarded four or five prizes. (I was too busy being mindless I even forgot to buy a catalog!) NZSWWS's national president, Nynke, mentioned in her speech she has heard said a small group of people win prizes every time.

I present to you these facts and opinions, because, after all, a show/exhibit of any kind rests on the decisions of those who are entrusted to make the decisions. And I believe selection is subjective.

I mean, think about it. The task is unlike a quality control inspection on a factory line. Selection criteria for a show like this is not by measurements of demensions, accuracy of computation, or how much pressure can be applied before the material rips. A piece of work has to have artistic, aesthetic, and technical merit.

I'm not complaining; I got both of my pieces accepted, but I didn't win any prizes. Speaking to friends who won prizes, who had work accepted, and who had work rejected, there is really no apparent "objective" set of criteria on which all, or most, of us could agree, or based on which which we can unanimously accept/reject work. So I hold that selection is subjective.

The reason why I'm so hung up on this tonight is this; while waiting for our order to be cooked at the Fish and Chip shop, I realized that the kind of textile I want to weave is predictable, not edgy, not even colorful; I like subtle, delicate, and sophisticated. And Ben thought this year bright and colorful works won prizes. So, then, the next time I work on a project to submit to Area, or National, or wherever, I can try to please the unknown selectors and judges based on what seemed to please the previous selectors and judges, or, I can just do my thing and make cloth that please me. The answer is quite simple, and yet I find myself becoming more competitive and greedy. Is this to be my downfall?

Details of Thistle Scarf, pick up, by June McKenzie

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