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Friday, December 29, 2006

Organic Development

I've been tiptoeing around Nefertiti. I had stitched the obvious stuff, the details, but I knew I had a lot of background to cover; just didn't know quite how to do it. When I sat down to quilt today, I decided to bite the bullet. For some reason or other, I decided to make squares and rectangles in the quilting. They have turned out to be very wall-like, in the way that old castles and palaces were built here in England, nothing like the precision of the pyramids in Egypt.

I'm not very good at representational stuff. Making a quilt 'about' Nefertiti was difficult for me. As I quilted more of the walls, I realised that the quilt isn't really 'about' her at all. It is 'about' the sisterhood of royalty. Royal women are perhaps the most highly visible of all of us. Yet we rarely, if ever, catch glimpses of the real women behind the pomp and circumstance, the glamour and protocols. Here in the UK, we see the Queen every year on television, giving a speech to the nation. We know more about her than probably any monarch in UK history. And yet, we know nothing much at all. That, for me, is the story behind the Nefertiti quilt. Of course, it took the quilt to tell me what it was that I wanted to say, exactly. And that's what I love about making art. The quilt would stand by itself as a representation of Nefertiti. What makes it interesting and special for me, though, are those added thoughts, layers of meaning, that make us think a little further, a little differently, a little deeper.


margaret said...

Seeing that piece under the needle makes me want to RUN to the sewing machine and get going on something! Is it the way the stitches seem to be sinking into it ... bringing out the very textileness of it ...

JulieZS said...

I love how you describe your process Marion, Nefertiti spoke to you, or through you, to communicate the essence of royalty. Good on you for listening.