South African fiber artist turns ideas into reality
An idea for a new and original quilt design often lurks in our mind’s eye, but for the want of a sure-fire means to bring that fledgling image into the touchable reality of cloth and thread, we are stymied.
I have the genesis of at least three such conceptions in mind, tied to a specific perspective of a British cobblestone streetscape, a humorous play on words and one of M.C. Escher’s impossible constructions.
One day I hope to discover the methods I need to execute these ideas that now seem out of my reach.
Perhaps others feel the same. That’s where international fiber artist Rosalie Dace of Durban, South Africa, may be of help. Traveling from her beachfront city of 3.4 million people, Dace will be teaching and lecturing this month in Grand Junction.
At 7 p.m. June 13, she will speak on “Getting There from Here.” Her two-part lecture, open to the public, will answer the question: Where do we get our ideas and inspiration and how do we go about putting ideas and inspiration into the actual making of an art quilt? Her talk is planned at Clarion Inn, 755 Horizon Drive, and she will be bringing quilts to show.
Her appearance is sponsored by the Art Quilt Association (AQuA), based in Grand Junction. Cost of the lecture, which includes a short break, is free to members, $5 for non-members.
Dace describes herself as a full-time contemporary quilt maker, who is passionate about design, color, pattern and texture. With an education in art and English, she enjoys teaching.
Living in South Africa, Dace says, gives her an exciting and colorful view of the world. Though she values the traditions from which quilt making has come, she thinks that a quilt “should say something about its time and place in history.”
Dace’s public lecture is a sidelight of an intensive four-day class she is teaching for AQuA members on June 12–15, also at the Clarion Inn.
Titled “Kandinsky Quilts,” it is based on the art of Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), a Russian painter and art theorist credited with painting the first purely abstract work.
“Quilters often think they have a problem with dealing with abstraction, and I thought this was a way of helping them understand the idea of abstraction,” Dace explains.
Kandinsky also used color symbolically and claimed to be synesthetic — being able to “see” color when listening to music or to “hear” music when he saw color.
Because color actually is the first thing we see in a quilt, “I thought this multi-sensory idea would be another way of experiencing it,” Dace says.
From a visual point of view, she wants her students also to explore how Kandinsky puts lines over some areas of color, giving the students an opportunity to stitch, quilt or couch lines over their basic blocks.
As an art educator, she usually doesn’t provide kits or patterns for her classes, rather encourages the intermediate or advanced student to develop knowledge of design elements and apply them with confidence.
“We will look at Kandinsky’s work (through slides) and find an area to use as a jumping-off point ... so that class participants ultimately make an original art piece, having had ‘help’ from a respected and celebrated artist,” she says.
This sounds like the perfect environment to have fun while learning and to go beyond where you once thought possible.
Attend her June 13 lecture to find out how to get there from here.
Email Sherida.Warner @GJSentinel.com.