Un-multi-tasking

Must art be intentional?

Japanese Furushiki
Dorothy Caldwell,  North South East West

Late 19th century, Floral Boro
I have spent much of the last three weeks learning everything that I can about Japanese boro. These are fabrics- sometimes  in the form of clothes, sometimes futon covers or sheets that were patched over and over by impoverished  Japanese. Born out of necessity, the fabric is often mended, has  lots of hand stitching and often has layers of hand spun indigo fabrics.
















Detail of patched fabrics

Nothing was wasted and nothing was just thrown out- the way that our contemporary disposable society handles objects that are torn, broken, etc. A good place to see these fabrics are at Srithreads.com or Kimonoboy.com.

Boro detail of stitching


Dorothy Caldwell, Tenderness



I find the boro very appealing and very beautiful.

 The hand stitching is as beautiful as the stitching that I see today- from many textile artists working today. The fabrics, although they are faded, worn and torn are wonderful. And, there are many contemporary artists, notably Dorothy Caldwell, who have been strongly influenced by the boro tradition.

Dorothy Caldwell, In Good Repair


So here is a question that I have had trouble answering and would love to hear your thoughts.

Does art have to be intentional for it to be art? 

Clearly we regard Caldwell's pieces as art. Do the undoubtably beautiful boro qualify as art as they were born out of necessity and not deliberately created as works of art. I really do not know where I stand on this. Would love to get your thoughts.