Old New series

Perhaps one of the very first encounters that I had with quilting was when I was in graduate school- I studied landscape architecture and had to design a garden for the blind. Realizing that the client would not be able to see the plans. I created a fabric site map- all in white. I used a white textured cotton and stuffed areas to show the berms and landforms.

This small experiment led me to what is probably the first series that I ever did- a series on nudes. Now remember that this is 1976 and while "free love" was still in play, body parts were not something that we saw everyday. My series was in a sense a series of self portraits. And most of them dealt with how I felt as a young liberated woman-and also dealt with the objectification on women.... whew!

I met with some success with these fabric sculptures, and even had a one woman show at the One Gallery in Ithaca NY where I was living after graduating. I sold a few of them and kept a few, and doled out others to family members who liked them. Most of them were pelvises.

I have three hanging in my house- I still quite like them. And I remember with some amusement how terribly embarrassed my son was when he was a pre-teen and had to bring and brought friends home. I never ever saw them as pornographic in the least- they were nude studies, and so they stayed on the wall.
I have been thinking long and hard about doing another series around nudes. And as my body has changed, my relationship to it has as well. My body image is not something that I am comfortable talking about- and I see this series as a challenge to make myself face issues that I have long avoided.

by JudyK