Monday, 1 February 2016

Four in Art - "Colour: microscopic"

The theme chosen for this year's Four in Art quilts was Colour, and this quarter the sub-theme is 'Microscopic'.

'Colour' and 'Microscopic' are great themes - such a lot of food for thought!  I started by thinking about colour in connection with microscopy, microscopic specimens and so on, particularly the use of stains to highlight different parts of a specimen.

I considered making a quilt based on a coloured cross-section of a stem, which would have been nice as my dad is a botanist who spent his career looking at specimens down an electron microscope.  However, I really wanted to explore the implications and possibilities of the absence of colour - using black and white - in my first quilt in this series.

I had been thinking recently about the relationship between patchwork pieces and cells, the first making up a quilt, and the second being the building blocks of all living organisms.  It occurred to me that the seams between the patchwork pieces are like the cell walls which surround each cell - each piece or cell is then separate, yet connected to, other units around it to create a tissue.

Using traditional 'tumbling blocks',  I've tried to examine this idea in an abstract way, using the contrast of black and white to highlight the individual units.  The little black diamonds represent cell nuclei.

Building Blocks


I have probably said this before in connection with the quilts I've made with Four in Art, but I really admire art which is equally satisfying whether it can be 'read' or not.  Cells, or blocks?  - what I really wanted here is that if you had the opportunity to view (say) onion cells down a microscope during your school days you might look at this quilt in a particular way, but that if not, then the pattern would stand by itself.



Please do visit the other Four in Art members.  We have a group blog, and you can also view each member's work at the links below.   As usual each quilt is such a different response to the theme!

Betty  on flickr

Camilla at Faffling

Elizabeth at OP Quilt

Janine at Rainbow Hare

Nancy at Patchwork Breeze

Simone at Quiltalicious

Susan at Patchwork and Play





12 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, Catherine. I love the way you've explored the concept of cells/blocks being separate yet connected. I've never seen onion cells but it's definitely very open to interpretation with blocks, diamonds, stars... :)

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  2. Interesting idea to think of patchwork as cells: building blocks of a quilt. I think taking color out of the equation can ultimately add something to the whole.

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  3. What a grand use of "tumbling blocks" and I'm with Rachel - taking out the color can truly add to the whole. Your view on this one is wonderful.

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  4. Microscopic- an interesting point of departure to explore just about anything! I never thought about tackling that idea with quilting but I love your cells! cheers!

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  5. Just brilliant Catherine! I also love the absence of color! Those little diamonds of black are the perfect finish.....

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  6. (Love the other comments here so far. . .)
    Of course, I love your work, and I think you know it, but I love it not only because you continue to fascinate with the way you approach things, but also the way you make all of us think differently about a problem/challenge/quilt. For example, this quilt, with its absence of color forces us to look at structure and to see the cell wall/patchwork piece on its own merits in terms of shape and size and its relationship to its neighbors. A thorough exploration of the cellular existence of both onions and quilts--excellent! I love this--thank you one more time for your fabulous contributions to our little group.
    Elizabeth

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  7. Great idea and such accomplished rendition! I was also musing on using white as it's the compilation of all colour, but I love the way you've expressed it with the cellular building blocks and the way we build quilt blocks. Truly lovely and thought provoking.

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  8. What a great theme/brief for an art quilt. And I really like your connection between cells and patchwork blocks. Such an effective quilt on lots of levels at the end of your process too.

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  9. Firstly I like how you boldly eliminate all color except for black and white. It was really neat to see your absence of color since I think you do such a wonderful job of combining colors with emotion. Your cell wall concept merged so well with the tumbling block. Your mini has bold graphic lines that help create the building blocks of life;)

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  10. Firstly I like how you boldly eliminate all color except for black and white. It was really neat to see your absence of color since I think you do such a wonderful job of combining colors with emotion. Your cell wall concept merged so well with the tumbling block. Your mini has bold graphic lines that help create the building blocks of life;)

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  11. Simple and yet complex - hard to pull off but you've done it with aplomb!

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