Sometimes I feel I am continually running up against a brick wall. Why oh why in this day and age is there such a demarcation between what people perceive as art and what they perceive as craft. I have had a couple of instances lately where when I say I am a textile artist people just look confused. If I say I produce work using fibre and stitch they ask if I make dresses or curtains, If I mention embroidery you can see their mind thinking cross stitch and their mouths saying 'isn't that rather old fashioned' and if I say I am an artist they immediately say -'oh do you use oils or watercolours?'
Its enough to drive someone insane! I even gave up the other day when at a bank filling in a form and they asked my occupation and when I told them they said 'I haven't got a box for that' so I ended up saying 'just tick the home maker one'. But I didn't want to- I've worked hard for my skill I would like it acknowledged.
I read an excellent article the other day by James hunting about the importance of achieving a balance between technique and concept- that they were both of equal and extreme importance and I so agree.Great 'Art', however conceptual, needs a grounding with good technique and all good 'Craft' stems from the ability to perfectly master a technique and combine it with a true concept. I wish we were still using the term artist craftsman it says so much more.
But how do we educate people - even those who are supposed to be part of this rather incestuous art world, to value textile art. There is a huge amount of unrecognized talent and creativity out there -Just in the last couple of days look at the blogs of people such as Brunel Broiderers and Judy Martin for inspiration, but do such as they ever appear 'in the nationals'
I suppose you could say its all about the creation not the recognition which is very true but we make work to be shared which usually involves exhibiting it and when the amount of affordable visual art spaces and galleries are getting fewer and fewer and the value of textiles still seems so underrated we desperately need a swing in opinion just to bring work to people who haven't experienced exactly what textile art is really about.
I don't know perhaps its just in my area-is it the same everywhere? the only thing I can do at the moment is go ARGHH!!!!!