Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday at Cruella's - Textile Lunch IV

Yesterday was Friday, meaning I had drawing in the morning. I missed last week because Husband had a horrible 24+ hour flu. It was the first time I went out of the house in 10 days, plus we're doing wash, as in watercolor wash plus dry media, not at all my forte nor favorite. So it was an emotionally ho-hum session with ho-hum results, but it was still nice to be there, and a jolly good looking exercise.

Then we had the textile lunch at a cafe called Deville. Even though it's been there a few years, I can never remember the name, so Ronette told me, "as in Cruella, de Vil, of 101 Dalmatians," and since then I can remember Cruella but not Deville. Anyway, this place has outside, terrace and inside seats, and the food and staff are lovely. I'll take a photo the next time.

We had a theme yesterday, "a whole greater than the sum of its parts," particularly in the craft context. I can't remember how our discussion progressed, swerved, and back-tracked, because ours is more brainstorming than discussion, but we touched:
  • art vs non-art, with particular reference to Billy Apple,
  • that, on the one hand, the intention of the artist to create art defines whether something is art, or not,
  • and on the other, whether the viewer is emotionally moved, bad or good, as a result of viewing the work makes something art, or not.
  • We examined postcards and greeting cards in this context: cards of famous art works, cards with which the maker intends to post a question, call attention, astonish, or otherwise cause emotional impact, and cards designed to just sell.
  • Though we called these loosely as art vs design, we couldn't define the division, particularly where text, (be it the appearance of, the message/content, or the combination,) is intended as artwork.
  • Other examples we considered were Andy Warhol, Dick Frizell, the Benetton advertisement of a man dying of Aids, and one-off vs mass-produced works.
In the course of the lunch, the small matter of the absence of any inspiration to make anything on my part came up. For months I've felt no emotional push/pull, no vision, nor any excitement to make anything beautiful. All I have are a list of ideas which should inspire me at some stage, a list of weave structures and techniques I should experiment with at some point, and a syllabus of design and sample modules I'm committed to. It's all strangely mechanical, and after taking to Taueret earlier in the week, I've been envious of her unexplainable drive to make her jewelry while I go through my motion, in very slow motion.

At our first Textile Lunch, Rose posited the difference between art and non-art/craft/design is the presence of concept, though we couldn't define concept. Yesterday Ali blurted out, "perhaps concepts don't have to be conceptual," and we were left to ponder this in silence.

I'm happy to go through the motion in slow motion, because it gives my usually-hyper emotions a nice break. Call it what you will, gestation, break, block, or meditation, it's a change of pace for me. But I do hope I get some of my mojo back, and soon, and by golly, I hope my weak medication doesn't get in the way.

A Billy Apple work. Photo courtesy Witte de With.

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