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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

But is it art?

I was reading last week's Observer magazine in which there is a piece about an artist called Clare Shenstone. She had produced some work using stitched fabric which she included in her final year degree show at art college. The sewing was described by the magazine article's author as, "a risky piece of work. You won't see many cloth pieces in Chelsea.....or other enclaves of High Art, and artists who do work with it tend to use it as a "degraded" material, like Mike Kelley; or as a commentary on women's work, like Rosemarie Trockel; or as both, like Tracey Emin....."

I cannot see why textiles should not be considered as proper art - especially when you look at the utter rubbish that IS given that label.

I shall quote you some more: - in "World Textiles, a concise history", Mary Schoeser writes about "issues raised by ... movements in Western art, craft and design. (The shifting connotations of these words are an interesting but separate subject. Here they represent the traditional boundaries created by price, audience, media and end-use.)" She goes on to say, "At times lip-service has been paid to many makers by calling them artists ... and the uneasy relationship between fine art and applied arts evident in 1850 has not yet been resolved...". (1850 = the Arts and Crafts movement).

I shall consider my dragon to be ART. Just because its method of creation (embroidery) is also a craft seems to me to be irrelevant. Engraving and screen printing could be called crafts. Or painting, for that matter. Why do some people have a problem with an artist using skill, technique, craftsmanship, call it what you will? It is almost as if they think that a true artist must have an inate ability to produce works of art, and that he will have no need to develop a talent or skill.


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