I’ve been thinking a lot about magic lately. I guess it is because I read that the AQC challenge for 2019 is “Magic” (link here). I won’t be entering the challenge as I’m not that confident in my skills, but it has given me a lot to think about. I’ve thought about what I might do if I was going to make something to enter.
For me, the term “magic” is not about pulling bunny rabbits out of top hats, but about the world around us, the people in it, and creativity.
The first thing that came to mind when I started thinking about magic is love. The magic of falling in love with your life partner, the magic of meeting your child for the first time and falling so deeply in love with a teeny tiny innocent face, the magic of life long friends that you don’t even speak to for years, then pick up the phone and it was like yesterday. I tried to think of not-so-tried and true depictions of “love as magic” images that could be a quilt and considered an interpretation of Wendy Williams quilt “Pieces of my Heart” .
But I just kept on coming back to that it would be difficult to separate love from magic and that there was more magic to be found… I then started thinking about the magic of a sunrise and the hope that a new day brings… I love how much Ann Brauer’s quilts capture that magic:
Thinking about sunrises0 lead me to think about the magic of nature in general … I thought of a photograph of a rainbow eucalyptus I saw on my first trip to Jindabyne 13 years ago… Unfortunately, I didn’t buy it. Nevertheless, in writing this blog, I googled “Rainbow Eucalyptus Photography” and came across this website that has some truly magical photographs of natural and man-made colourful places: 75 places so colourful it is hard to believe they are real:
One of my favourite collage quilters is Susan Carlson (Who also happens to be teaching at the AQC—but is already sold out!!) I think one of the most striking quilts she has created is the “Polka Dodo”:
I don’t think that you can get more magical than bringing an extinct bird back to life with fabric!! I also really enjoyed reading her blog about the process of creating this magnificent piece of art.
So where has all of this mental meandering taken me with regards to magic?
At the end of the day, I have come to the realization that magic is really about creativity. The magician creates an illusion that startles and surprises us. While nature supplies the most exemplary constellations of colour and landscapes, it is the photographers’ skill and creativity that captures the essence of that splendor to enhance and share. Sue Carlson’s creativity brought to life a bird that has been extinct from the 1700s, of which there are no photographs.
So, where does that leave me with thinking about what to make for the AQC challenge? I am, at the end of the day, grateful that I have been through this process of thinking about magic. I have been rewarded with beautiful photographs of natural and manmade vistas and with amazing examples of textile arts. Nevertheless, how might I represent the concept of creativity in a quilt that is about magic? I’m not sure… but I’ll give it a bit more thought.