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An Artful Response - Part 2

11th November 2021

Part two of reflecting on our group exhibition “Artful response” is about my collaboration with Maxine Thompson, a well known Bay of Plenty Pastel artist. 

For various reasons it took a little while to connect with Maxine and to work out a direction for our response, but once we did our collaboration came together easily. We also decided early in the process to chose a photograph that appealed to both of us and create a response to the photograph.

An Artful Response by Lois Evans Parish | Textile Artist and Designer

Beginnings... the original photo by Maxine Thompson and my first design

I loved the simplicity, shapes and colours of the Greek urn sitting on a whitewashed wall looking out over the Mediterranean – I thought about calling it “A Pot with a View”! Greek urns are both practical and works of art. They were useful in holding/containing many things. For us they contain/ hold many memories. Both Maxine and I had been to the Mediterranean; Maxine has taught in the Mediterranean, and I have visited a number of Mediterranean countries. My husband and I got engaged in Italy so it holds many good memories.

Once we decided our subject, we set about working on our own and at our own pace. I created a number of designs and painted a cartoon which I really liked, however when I recreated it in fabric it didn’t work.

An Artful Response by Lois Evans Parish | Textile Artist and Designer

Much preliminary work goes into the final piece…..

So I set about doing what I love to do – deconstructing and abstracting the original design. Auditioning the fabrics was also relatively easy – I had picked up a few of Catherine McDonalds Mallee Fabrics earlier in the year and they were perfect colourways for this art quilt.

This year has seen me re-exploring printmaking, creating rubber stamps and small lino prints. The urn shape cried out to be created as a small lino print so who am I to say no??(smile)

An Artful Response by Lois Evans Parish | Textile Artist and Designer

Small lino printed urn, also showing the free hand matchstick and stipple quilting

Once the main and supporting pieces were created the art quilt came together quite easily. Before free motion quilting my design Maxine and I met together and we were both pleasantly surprised at how well our artworks connected and how similiar in size!

I love my walking foot for matchstick quilting but for both of my Artful Response pieces I chose to free machine stitch the straight lines – which… let me tell you is much harder than getting the lovely straight lines with my walking foot! This art quilt felt more rustic and therefor suited the less than perfect match stick quilting. However to add contrast I used stipple stitch in a few areas of the art quilt.

An Artful Response by Lois Evans Parish | Textile Artist and Designer

“Mediterranean Memories”

Finally I added the ‘landscape lines’ in blue to connect it back to the ‘landscape’ of the original photograph. It has been framed; sandwiched between two layers of perspex which for me connected it to Maxine’s framed work so that they hung well as a pair in the exhibition.

An Artful Response by Lois Evans Parish | Textile Artist and Designer

“Mediterranean Memories” and “My Mediterranean Memories Too” by Maxine Thompson

The idea of working with an artist in another genre is an interesting one, and it was wonderful to see the ‘pairs’ of work as we hung the exhibition and how each artist had chosen to respond to another’s work. There was no right or wrong way to respond and once we settled into the creating I think all the artists enjoyed the experience of the collaboration. The exhibition also generated a lot of interest, especially for those with less exposure to textile art/art quilting who were pleasantly surprised at the use of textiles in creating an artwork and we had many visitors to the gallery.

As with my first collaborative response, part of the pleasure was working with an artist from another art discipline, getting to know them and their work. I have great respect for both artists I collaborated with: Maxine Thompson and Christie Cramer.

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