Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday words

What a portentous title! A bit embarrassing actually, seeing that I can't quite remember the actual words for today's quote, just the general thought! Last year I did a class with Rosalie Dace at QSDS in Columbus, Ohio. It was a very inspiring weekend. It was the second time I had been to QSDS. The first was a monoprinting workshop with Melanie Testa, also a very good experience.

Rosalie's theme was African cloth. I grew up in South Africa under apartheid. Besides the obvious human and economic misery caused by apartheid, it also robbed people of a wider cultural identity. I am shamed by how few African countries I can name on a map, I don't speak a black African language, and my knowledge of African cultures is largely limited to a social anthropology class in college. Rosalie grew up speaking Zulu, and her love for, appreciation of, and wealth of knowledge about African cultures was very enriching. The fabrics were fabulous too, and so wide ranging.

Back to the words though. At one point she said (and I am representing her very freely here, since I failed to take notes) that nature has already been done perfectly, so she feels no need to try to copy it. Her quilts are abstract, which is how I prefer to work, so I guess that is why her words resonated so much. I know lots of people like to work representationally, but for me, Rosalie's words were permission to explore my own path.

If you ever get the chance to go to QSDS, do! It's a wonderfully enriching experience. Both times I floated home on a cloud of new ideas, wonderful inspiration and the joy that comes from sharing time with people who are making their way down the same path, and are often so very generous at lending a hand along the way.

The 2016 class list is available, and I am already scheming about how to squeeze in a class!

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