'Quilts: 1700-2010' at the V&A
I finally visited the V&A’s new “Quilts: 1700-2010” exhibition following much hype and anticipation here on our own daily blog. With Liberty indulging in their “Quilty pleasures” and the subject holding many nostalgic and fold memories for me, the exhibition has been a must see of mine since its launch on 20th March.
A huge queue awaited me in the grand main entrance; eager craft and textiles lovers, a mix of young and old and some definite groups of quilters themselves were all waiting in line for their tickets. As we shuffled around the crowded exhibition I was completely in awe of this amazing art from. Precision cut hexagonal shapes, patch-worked and stitched with chronic intricacy and care, in every print and colour imaginable.
“I wish you could see the under sides too!” I whispered to my friend, and to my delight there was a double-sided Perspex wall that granted me my wish. Just as beautiful as the right side and all the more interesting to a fellow stitcher and sewer, it reveals the skeletal base of quilting art. Sections such as “British Eccentricity”, “Private Thoughts, Public Debates" and “Making a Living” document the history of quilts that stretches over 300 years with 65 quilts on display to tell the story; from the earliest examples to present day contemporary designs.
What I love about these quilts are the stories they tell. Each new patch is like the next chapter of a book that tells the stories of the lives of the quilter. Favourites included the HM Prison Wandsworth quilt- deeply emotional and enlightening; the “Chinese Dream Quilt”- highlighting the problems facing our economy today and the “Liberty Jack” incorporating the most celebrated British symbol with iconic Liberty heritage prints.
Images, from top to bottom:
1. At TheEnd of the Day - Natasha Kerr 2007
2. A Chinese Dream (detail) - Susan Stockwell 2009
3. Coverlet - Unknown 1797
4. Liberty Jack (detail) - Janey Forgan 2008
5. HMP Wandsworth Quilt - by Wandsworth inmates 2009
6. North and South (detail) - Louis Moreau 2010
Posted by Julia Kasper