Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Lamentation / The Good and the True

Lamentation   dyed and painted cloth, hand pieced, hand quilted, then hand stitched with red cotton sashiko thread.  57.5 x 58"  146 x 147 cm  2022

detail of Lamentation by Judy Martin

I used up all the green fabrics I had on hand to make this piece when my niece died of cancer age 38. 

The Good and the True  white wool whole cloth quilt, hand quilted, and then hand embroidered, (This quilt is the second side of the above quilt, Lamentation).   57.5 x 58"  147 x 146 cm  2022

Red thread is used in all cultures and has taken on meaning depending on where you live and what you want to believe.  Sometimes it means happiness, some times it means protection.  It also means good luck.   Red thread is the most powerful.   

White fabric most often refers to purity.  Liturgical embroidery uses white for celebration cloths.   

Inside Out:  Judith e Martin's solo show in Kitchener Ontario in spring 2023. 
Stardust:  Martin's solo exhibition Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, summer 2023.
Softer and Dreamier:  Judy Martin's solo exhibition at the Festival of Quilts Birmingham, UK in  August 2024.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Ceremonies

ceremony for innocence  2010 photo, wax, ink on paper, red thread french knots, this is a detail 

About the above image:  The photo transparency in Ceremony for Innocence is of Judy's first grandchild.  The artwork has hung in her home studio for over ten years.

ceremony for mystery 2023  embroidery on vintage linen with red thread knots, this is a detail

The first embroidery:  What is the celebrant holding in his hands?  

ceremony for memory 2023  embroidery on vintage linen with red thread protection, this is a detail

The second embroidery, the image is from an art history book.  The silk thread is used to draw with as if it were an ink or pencil drawing.  Red thread means protection in many world cultures.

ceremony for wildness 2023, embroidery on vintage linen with red thread, a detail

Milk weed grows wild in the fields of Manitoulin Island.  The lace is hand made.   

The Ceremonies series premiered at the Stardust exhibition in the Gore Bay museum (2023).
Above: "Earth and Air" wool and linen quilt 94 x 82"
"Ceremony for Wildness, 35 x 26.5" and Ceremony for Memory, 40 x 20" 

Ceremony for Mystery, with its own stand and ten bundles.  
Each bundle is made from wool wrapped around leaves from the artist's garden.

ceremony for innocence, shown in its metal frame.  23 x 19 inches.

 2023:  all four ceremonies were exhibited in Stardust, a solo exhibition of Judith E Martin's work at the Gore Bay Museum July 7 - September 15 2023 in Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Memory of Wikwemikong

Memory of Wikwemikong

2008, dyed rayon and cottons, layered and hand quilted with embroidery thread, 74 x 25"

In honour of the blue moon that happens tonight, August 31, 2023, I am posting Memory of Wikwemikong, a quilt that I made in 2008.

It is one of the first pieces I made having to do with cosmic imagery and the night sky.

I live on Manitoulin Island and am humbly aware of the great spiritual presence of this place, the ancestral home for thousands of years of the ojibwe peoples.

I look out over Manitowaning Bay towards the Wikwemikong Penninsula.

I laid out the layers of fabric that make up this piece when I was not at home.  I relied on my memory of what is, when I am home, my daily view.   (hence the title)

The back of the quilt is made up of four pieces of dyed rayon.  Hand quilted.

 Memory of Wikwemikong sold into private collection this month out of Guildworks.

These are the only photos that I have of it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Under Drifting Stars

Under Drifting Stars

2022, very light weight cotton with a silk batt, 86 x 91 inches.

A world of spirit thinly veiled, a secret mystery.  Our cosmos, our day and night, the sun and the moon, and also the stars.  Childhood and also eternity.  Also emotions.  Also dreams.

I make quilts that are large enough to cover a family.

The cotton was first treated with tannin (sumac leaves) and then dot-painted with water that had a little iron powder in it.  Judy painted the fabrics on her birthday in July 2020, during the height of the pandemic.  In the spring of 2022, she arranged the fabrics and hand pieced them.  Over the summer, she hand embroidery-quilted the large quilt in a hoop.  

The upper half of the quilt has shapes that resemble a moon and some suns, or maybe all of them are moons.  

The dots were outlined with quilting thread and pulled tightly so that they would puff out.  Some of them are so puffy, they look as if they are appliqued, but they are painted.

A thicker wool thread was used to outline the larger shapes.

The lower part of the quilt also has painted dots, but this time the artist embroidered over each dot with embroidery floss to make rough satin stitch dots.

The lower half of the quilt was quilted with pink silk thread, while the upper half was quilted with white silk thread.  The subtle change of colour of thread is noticeable.

Yes that is a seam that joins the upper and lower halves of the quilt and it has been made into a tuck to create a wavering horizon line.  

The back of the quilt is also marked with the same dots, but not with paint.  Just the threads are used and you can see how they are actually a way of quilting the two sides of the quilt together, while also making a pleasing image on the back.  The pink fabric is cotton dyed with avocado.

Under Drifting Stars made its premier in the prestigious Quilt National 23 exhibition in Athens Ohio in May of 2023.  

It was awarded the Handwork award.

A video of Judy speaking about making this quilt can be viewed here.  

The exhibition of Quilt National continued at the Dairy Barn until September 11. 

After that date, the 80 quilts are split into three smaller groups and go on tour for two years.  Under Drifting Stars is in Group A .  Group A shows at Canton Museum of Art in Canton, Ohio November 2023 - March 2024 and in July - September 2024, it will be on view in Morehead, Minnesota at the Historical Society of Clay County.


Friday, May 26, 2023

Where There Are No Storms

Where There Are No Stars

watercolour and thread, 2023

framed under glass in wooden frame, 20 x 20" framed size

Premiered at Perivale Gallery, Spring Bay, Manitoulin Island.

Available through Guildworks, Prince Edward County, Ontario

Thursday, January 26, 2023

A Quilt For Baby Earth

A Quilt For Baby Earth    2022    handkerchief linen, small amounts of velvet and cotton, silk and cotton red threads, the backing is a linen damask table cloth, dyed with cochineal.  48 x 46.5 inches (122 x 118 cm) 

Hand embroidered with the poem, Planet Earth by Canadian poet PK Page.
Hand quilted.

Part of the Inside Out exhibition  March 3 - June 25 2023 at the Homer Watson House and Gallery in Kitchener Ontario 
Part of the Stardust exhibition, July 7 - September 15, 2023 at the Gore Bay museum in Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,
the way she moves her hands, caressing the fine muslins, 
knowing their warp and woof,
like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising,
It has to be loved as if it were embroidered 
with flowers and birds and two joined hearts upon it.
                        P.K. Page   (complete poem on website)

"Planet Earth" by PK Page (1993) is used with permission from the Estate of PK Page.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Planet You're Standing On

The Planet You're Standing On

stitched paper, watercolour, silk thread, text written in pencil  30 x 24 inches  (76 x 60 cm)

The planet you're standing on looking out at the stars is the earth, the third planet from the sun and the mildest and softest of the nine.  Solid and rocky and heavy we think it is when actually it's as pale and lovely as a bubble.  It floats in nothing with all of us on it shining like a bubble.

excerpt from Only a Little Planet by Lawrence Collins 

Showed at Perivale Gallery, Spring Bay Manitoulin Island in 2022 and sold into private collection on the opening day.