Gillian Feeley-Harnik quote
'Cloth epitomizes the ambiguity of speaking through mediums where it is unclear whether the medium is acting for its spirit or for itself"
- Gillian Feeley-Harnik
We've been on vacation in Montreal for over three weeks now. I've been reading more than usual and have discovered (as suggested by Danny's cousin Luke) that reading several things at once really works for me. It makes sense since that is how I work best when making textiles too. I remember being at my aunt Franca's for Quilting Boot-Camp and how shocked she was when I would begin to knit after I said I needed a break. My mind thinks I'm taking a break as long it is a break from one thing (not necessarily another). So, in the past month I've been reading Sofie's Choice (drudging through it), C'mon Papa (by Vancouverite Ryan Knitghton) as well as essays from Cloth and Human Experience, which brings me to my embroidery. The last essay I began to read was by Gillian Feeley-Harnick called Cloth and the Creation of Ancestors in Madagascar. I got onto page two, and when I read this quote I dropped the book and began to trace its letters onto cloth for embroidery. I absolutely love it. Harnik was using it in the context of how in Madagascar, "cloth is essential to the creation of ancestors" where it is used to re-cloth the exhumed bodies of ancestors in order to regenerate their spirit. When I read it I couldn't help but feel that it speaks to anything that is made from cloth, and captures the fact that all hand-made textiles have a rich historical context and therefore inevitably imply multiple meanings. The quote for me embodies my own thought process when writing artist statements or just trying to figure out what each one of my textile art pieces is trying to say. So when I read it I thought, 'Thank-you! I am also enamored by the complexities of cloth!'
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