I’m beginning to get very excited about the Festival of Quilts. It is now less than a month away and it is starting to feel very close. I sent out a press release last week to lots of different magazines, which my friend Jane Rae of Cinnamon Press helped write and put into the correct terms. It also had the very embarrassing photo of me attached. Even when I have had my photo taken professionally, it never seems to appear like the wonderful image I have of myself in my head... Here is the text of the press release:
Scottish textile artist Gillian Cooper is introducing a new dimension to this year’s Festival of Quilts being held 11-14 August at the Birmingham NEC. Visitors to the show will be able to walk through her exhibition space, virtually rubbing shoulders with the ethereal life-sized figures that she has created in her piece entitled “Unsung Muses”.
The installation, consisting of quilted pieces, floating figures and transparent hangings, celebrates the lives and influence of our female ancestors and forgotten goddesses - the “unsung muses” who have shaped the lives of so many women today. Gillian has incorporated the notion of time passing by creating outlined rather than detailed figures, almost hovering under layers of embellishment and organza; slightly obscured but never forgotten.
“The idea of what is needed to give a shape human form has fascinated me for ages and this was a way of exploring it. How little is required to give an outline a sense of human presence? A number of years ago, I explored the idea by looking at dolls, but I couldn’t get it to work for me. With these figures, I found a stronger connection”, said Gillian.
The figures are pieced from a variety of over-painted and hand-dyed fabrics and incorporate discarded clothes and remnants from earlier projects. Once the figures were pieced, further detail was added using oil sticks and extensive machine quilting.
“I hope that ‘Unsung Muses’ will strike a chord with many of the visitors to the show helping them to reconnect with the fabulous goddesses and winged angels that are part of their own narrative”, said Gillian.
If you know of anyone who would be interested, please pass it on.