Wednesday, 4 February 2009

You do what?

Installation A2

One of the things that frustrated me last year was the reason I was turned down for a grant: "we don't consider knitting and bookbinding as valid forms of 'visual art'."

As a knitter, I'm not unfamiliar with that attitude -- over the years, I've lost track of how many times I've had strangers ask what I'm doing, and have the overwhelming majority of the women disclaim "well, I would never do anything so domestic."

But I was surprised to hear that bookbinding didn't "count" and haven't figured out why, although that attitude hasn't stopped me from working on a few projects with impending deadlines.

That doesn't mean I've quit doing anything else though.

Taking inspiration from a large bag of coniferous cones I collected last weekend and some of my earliest handspun that I found while reorganizing my fibre stash, I created a cone cosy, and then decided I needed an outdoor adventure.

What a better way to play with art than to let my little clothed gymnosperm pal go visit his relatives in the great outdoors? One encounter is documented above.

Although it wasn't the nicest day -- flat light, for starters -- it did have the desired effect: I came home charged up creatively, hungry to experiment with more textures, and with a powerful need for a hot chocolate.



  1. I've applied for a bunch of grants over the years. I finally decided it made more sense to spend the time just doing my work. I know grants work for some people. I just got tired of the forms and the feeling that I was throwing energy down a well.

    Maybe there will be a more enlightened evaluation panel some time for you.

  2. HA!

    If you're lucky you might get one of these goomers to condescend to bookbinding being a 'decorative art'. Otherwise what we do is just craft with a small 'c', and a much less significant craft than, well, just about any other.

    I will say that Canada is still more receptive of binding than down here south of the border. Michael Wilcox and Louise Genest have been awarded the Bronfman Award.


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